Mack: Canada look to 'right it up' in SA

(IRB.COM) Thursday 5 December 2013
 Mack: Canada look to 'right it up' in SA
Phil Mack scored 31 points in Dubai and was named in the 'Dream Team' - Photo: IRB/Martin Seras Lima

Canada head into this weekend's Cell C Nelson Mandela Bay SA Sevens aiming to progress to a Cup quarter-final for the first time on the 2013/14 HSBC Sevens World Series.

Last season they reached the last eight at four of the nine rounds but so far Geraint John's side has missed out in Australia (on points difference) and Dubai.

With this weekend's tournament coming only a week after the Emirates Dubai Sevens all teams have a chance to right any wrongs and scrum-half Phil Mack, who was named in the Dubai 'Dream Team' and scored one of the seven best tries last weekend, is hoping Canada can 'right it up' this week at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.

"As a team we were a bit disappointed (in Dubai)," said Mack.

"We have high expectations of our team and we didn't meet them, but luckily we have this week to right it up.

"It was definitely a proud moment (to be named in the 'Dream Team), I will always remember that, but as a team we are disappointed where we finished and that is what we need to work on."

Mack dribbles into Dubai top try list

Nine of Canada's 12-man squad that played in Dubai had been part of the 15-man squad that beat Portugal 52-8 the week before. Now head coach John has been forced into two changes through injury. 

Connor Braid and Lucas Hammond, ironically two players not part of that 15-a-side squad, will be replaced by Pat Kay and Duncan Maguire, with the latter set to make his World Series debut.

"Nine of us that were starting against Portugal were in Dubai and it probably took us a couple of games to get back into Sevens mode," admitted Mack. "But that is not an excuse. This week will be more of an opportunity for us to do what we can do.

"Points are massive this season with the new relegation and promotion process, nothing is in concrete. You can do well in the first half but get caught in the second half so consistency is key and that is what we are trying to find."

As well as losing Braid and Hammond in Dubai, Canada are also without Mack's long time half-back partner Nathan Hirayama who was injured in the first round in Australia. Sean Duke, the team's leading try scorer last season, is also still on the injury list.

"Those two guys are massive for our team," added Mack. "Nate controls the entire flow and Duke just finishes them off, so we hope to have them back soon. Once we get them back we'll have guys with more experience because of it and we will be better."

Canada face matches with hosts South Africa, Kenya and Spain this weekend, and you can follow it all live on 

Nelson Mandela Bay Sevens

Round 3
13-14 December 2014
Venue: Port Elizabeth Bay Stadium
City: Port Elizabeth
Capacity: 48,459

  • Emirates RWC Worldwide Partner
  • Cecil Afrika, South Africa
  • Frankie Horne