Brennig Prevost scored one try and prepared another on a nice play at Phil Berna as Canada opened the HSBC World Rugby Sevens series with a convincing 24-5 victory over Germany on Saturday in Vancouver.
The Canadian women’s seven-to-seven team lost 22-12 to the United States.
In her World Rugby Sevens debut, Victoria’s Prevost assisted on Berna’s first try. Prévost kicked a ball into the end zone where the Canadian captain was able to get his hands on it.
“It was half settled, half instantly,” said Berna of Vancouver. “Brenning kind of yelled at me. I said I’d be there and got there just in time.”
WATCH | Canadian men handily beat Germany in Rugby Sevens opener:
Berna was part of the Canadian team that placed eighth at the Tokyo Olympics in August.
Josiah Morra of Toronto had two tries, while Prevost also kicked two converts on Saturday.
“We knew we had good youngsters coming off the bench,” said Berna. “We had to establish that platform. We wanted to provide them with a good structure.”
Germany, coached by former Canadian men’s coach Damian McGrath, trailed 24-0 at halftime.
“We didn’t touch the ball once in the first half and you can’t play without the ball,” said McGrath. “Canada made us hunt and sucked our lives.”
Fast competition 4 women
In the opener of the women’s Fast Four competition, Canada led 12-5 before relinquishing 17 points in the second half to the United States.
“Sevens comes down to fitness and those extra few yards,” said Canadian captain Oliva Apps of Victoria.
“The United States really took it from us. They found our weaknesses in the defensive line and used them perfectly to keep the ball and score.”
WATCH | The Canadian women’s team fails against the Americans:
Emma Chown of Barrie, Ont., Scored two tries. Chloe Daniels of Sutton, Ont., Kicked two converts.
In other men’s games, Ireland beat Hong Kong 17-14, Great Britain beat Jamaica 24-5, Kenya beat Spain 15-5, USA beat Chile 33 -5 and South Africa defeated Mexico 53-0.
On the women’s side, Great Britain shut out Mexico 39-0.
Participation, tournament structure
The tournament is the first HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series tournament since the COVID-19 pandemic put the brakes on the circuit in March 2020.
The Canadian men were third in the last tournament in Vancouver.
Attendance at BC Place Stadium was capped at 13,500 in the Lower Bowl due to COVID, but that did not deter fans from dressing for the event.
Scattered among the crowd were wizards in tall hats, a bunch of yellow bananas, different varieties of furry creatures, several pirates, a group dressed as canned clams, what looked like a bottle of ketchup, gendarmes, a blue shark and several people in loud Hawaiian shirts.
Canadian men are in a group with the United States, Chile and Germany.
Several Canadian veterans, including Nate Hirayama, Connor Braid, Justin Douglas and Conor Trainor, retired in the weeks following Tokyo.
Canada, the United States, Mexico and Great Britain form the women’s “Fast Four” in Vancouver. They go head to head, with the first two playing for the title and the other two competing for the third.
World Rugby says there will be no relegation from the 2021 Series and the results will not count as seeds for future events.
The two-day tournament ends on Sunday. Both Canadian teams will travel to Edmonton next week for the next stop in the series.
WATCH | Snapshot of Canada’s Rugby Sevens Return: