LONDON — Canada had a rough day at the HSBC London Sevens, losing three straight games Saturday including a 40-14 thumping at the hands of New Zealand.

The All Blacks wasted little time at Twickenham, leading 19-0 on three converted tries just four minutes into the game. It was one-way traffic in the first half with Canada pinned deep in its own territory the few times it had the ball.

The Canadian men went into the break down 26-0.

Earlier Saturday, Canada lost 19-14 to France and 26-5 to Australia. The Australians (2-1-0) went on to beat France 28-19 and finish runner-up to New Zealand in Pool C. Canada was last in the four-team pool, falling into consolation play Sunday.

Henry Paul's Canadian side has gone through a major roster turnover since last summer's Tokyo Olympics where the Canadian men finished eighth.

New Zealand was a motivated team, coming off an uncharacteristic ninth-place finish in Toulouse last week. The All Blacks missed the first four stops of the season due to pandemic-related travel restrictions.

Akuila Rokolisoa scored two tries and Ngahori McGarvey-Black, Roderick Solo, Dylan Collier and Kitiona Vai added singles for New Zealand (3-0-0) against Canada.

McGarvey-Black added three conversions while Rokolisoa booted two for the All Blacks.

Nicholas Allen and Thomas Isherwood added consolation tries for Canada in the dying minutes. Cooper Coats kicked two conversions.

McGarvey-Black sat out the final minute with a yellow card for a high tackle.

Earlier Elias Ergas and Alex Russell scored tries in a losing cause against France, which finished third last weekend on home soil. Coats added two conversions.

Anton Ngongo scored the lone Canadian try against Australia.

In Sunday's Cup quarterfinals, it's New Zealand versus Ireland, South Africa versus Australia, Fiji versus England, and Samoa versus Spain.

Canada will play Argentina in the consolation ninth-place quarterfinal. The Canadians upset Argentina 19-12 last week in pool play in Toulouse.

London is the eighth stop on the nine-event men's season, which will conclude Aug. 27-28 in Los Angeles.

The Canadians, who came into London in 14th spot overall, are hoping to move up the table to avoid relegation. The 15th- and 16th-place teams will lose their core status at the end of the season.

Canada held a slender edge over Wales in the standings with Japan 16th coming into London.

The Canadian women finished seventh overall after their six-event season, which wrapped up last week in Toulouse.


This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 28, 2022.