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Canada quickly lose lead, unable to hold off Australia in opening Rugby 7s game in Vancouver

The Canadian men got the start they wanted in their opener, but inexperience and nervousness showed as a powerhouse Australian side quietly took control for a 26-10 win on Saturday at the HSBC Canada Sevens rugby tournament at BC Place Stadium.

Tries from Alex Russell and Jake Thiel gave Canada a 10-0 lead with less than two minutes remaining, but Australia came back strong with 26 unanswered points.

“We have to wrap up games like this and learn to manage better,” said captain Phil Berna, who, along with Thiel, is one of the few veterans of the young Canadian side.

“That’s kind of the thing with a young team. Things get away from you sometimes. I’m proud of how we started there.”

Russell said Australia are a quality team that have benefited from Canadian mistakes.

“It’s our own mistakes that we have to correct,” he said. “We have the talent, we can score tries. We just have to fine tune things now.”

Canada was in a tough group with South Africa, Australia and Spain in the 16-team tournament. The Canadians need at least one surprise on Saturday if they hope to stay in contention for Sunday’s final.

The top two teams from each pool advance.

In the other Pool C game, Spain scored first, then gave up 24 consecutive points in a 31-12 loss to South Africa.

WATCH | Rugby 7s Canada vs Australia:

HSBC Men’s World Rugby Sevens Series Vancouver: Canada v Australia

Watch Canada host Australia at the HSBC Men’s World Rugby Sevens Series in ​Vancouver. 20:03

“There is a lot of good to be gained from it”

Canada coach Henry Paul said the loss showed his team’s potential.

“There’s a lot of good to be had from it,” he said. “I think there are also learning moments.”

Organizers hope to attract around 20,000 fans each day of the tournament.

Among the colorful and imaginative costumes on Saturday were a group of penguins, several pink piggies, Teletubbies, the Seven Dwarfs with long gray beards, workers wearing helmets and pink vests, angels of various sizes, the whole family Flintstone and various furry creatures. , many with drinks in their paws.

WATCH | Vancouver hosts Canada Sevens:

Canada quickly lose lead, unable to hold off Australia in opening Rugby 7s game in Vancouver

Rugby 7s returns to BC Place

The Canadian men’s rugby 7s team take on Australia, South Africa and Spain on the only Canadian leg of the rugby 7s tour. CBC Sports’ Andrea Burk joins Signa Butler to break it all down . 3:16

The Canadian men have 24 points in the first five World Rugby Seven Series tournaments, leaving them tied for 13th place with Wales among the 19 teams competing.

South Africa leads the standings with 98 points after winning the first four tournaments. Australia and Argentina are tied for second with 83 points. Spain is ninth with 36 points.

Canada’s best result this year was a quarter-final defeat of the tournament in Malaga, Spain. At the next two tournaments in Seville and last week in Singapore, Canada won just one of 11 games.

The Canadian team saw 10 veterans drop out of the seven-man team that finished eighth at the Tokyo Olympics.

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