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Canada loses last two matches at Glasgow Sevens

The Canadian Press

5/5/2013 4:42:51 PM

GLASGOW -- Canada ended its run at the Glasgow Sevens rugby tournament on a down note, with a pair of losses Sunday in what was otherwise a very successful weekend.

Canada fell 26-7 to Wales and 22-7 to Argentina in its last two games, but that came on the heels of a great performance Saturday. Canada beat fourth-ranked Samoa and Kenya, while suffering a narrow defeat to South Africa.

Saturday's results ensured that Canada remained as one of the core teams on the world sevens circuit next season.

"We set goals for each competition and the series and we have achieved them," Canada head coach Geraint John said. "To get into the top eight on four occasions is excellent and is something we have never done before in the modern series. To play like we did and for the players to put their bodies on the line should make everyone very proud.

"Yes we are disappointed with today's results but I hope everyone remembers yesterday and the effort put in."

South Africa went on to win the tournament, beating New Zealand 28-21. New Zealand won the overall series with a tournament to spare.

Wales took a 14-0 lead over Canada before halftime in the quarter-final of the Cup competition on tries from James Davies and Gareth Davies.

Conor Trainor cut the lead to 14-7 with a try, but unlike Saturday's win over Samoa the Canadians didn't have a comeback in them this time.

Wales moved up another gear and promptly hit back through tries from Lee Williams and Rhys Shellard that sent Canada into the Plate competition.

Argentina went up 10-0 with a pair of quick unconverted tries in the Plate semifinal.

Tyler Ardron cut the lead to 10-7 with a try converted by Nathan Hirayama just before halftime, but Argentina pulled away in the second half.

New Zealand clinched the overall series by beating Argentina 42-10 in the lunchtime quarter-finals at Scotstoun Stadium.

The Kiwis finished with an unassailable 29-point lead over South Africa in the standings.

"It means a lot. We set two targets at the beginning of the season, to win the world series, and the World Cup (in Moscow next month)," said Gordon Tietjens, who has coached New Zealand to all 11 titles. "We've had a lot of new players and I am pleased for them. To win with one round to go, too, is extra pleasing."

The only team to reach the semifinals of all eight tournaments so far, the Kiwis have gone on to reach six finals but won only one. That was in South Africa, which was ironic because the South Africans have topped New Zealand in all three of their series-leading three finals victories.

In adding Glasgow's title to Las Vegas and Tokyo, South Africa pressured the defending champions into errors and made them pay.

New Zealand led 14-7 at halftime thanks to wiley veteran Tomasi Cama, who drew the defence and grubber-kicked toward the posts for an easy try for an unmarked Kurt Baker.

But then three New Zealand errors were turned into successive tries by South Africa.