Canada has stunned the USA by pulling off a first ever win against their North American rivals - a narrow 18-16 victory in Game 2 of the Colonial Cup series Saturday in Toronto. Despite the loss though, the US retained the Cup on points aggregate. The Tomahawks won the first game 18-2 last month to give them an overall 34-20 points decision.
The match was televised live across Canada as part of the second annual Sports Day in Canada and the Wolverines didn’t disappoint their home fans as they made history in notching their maiden Test win against the Americans. The CanAm series dates back to 1993 and prior to Saturday’s result, the Canadians had never beaten the USA.
From the Tomahawks’ standpoint, they were heavily penalized - the final count was 16-5 against them with half a dozen of those infringements occurring on the last tackle. The US also had a try disallowed on a line ball call.
Canada led 12-6 at halftime and eventually outscored the visitors by four tries to three. Louis Tulio, Michael Garvey and Ian Elliott dotted down for the USA. Garvey converted two of the tries. For Canada, Geoff Bylund, Tony Felix, Robin Legault and Danny Tupou were the try-scorers, while Louis Robinson booted a penalty goal that in the end proved to be the difference.
“In the grand scheme of things it was a positive for us because we were able to evaluate a whole bunch of different players in this Colonial Cup series. Since the first Colonial Cup match last September, the Atlantic Cup last November, the Donnybrook Cup in March and through this recent series we have used over 50 different players.” said Tomahawks coach David Niu. “In terms of [head coach] Matty Elliott’s plan we’re right on track for the RLWCQ, but essentially it was a game that we really should have won.”
The win was only the second ever W for Canada, their first ever victory came against Jamaica in July.
“It felt great. Both sides played well,” commented Canada Rugby League chairman Eric Perez. “It was a big step forward for us. We had a strong lineup and home field advantage. Going into the game I was confident of winning the tie but maybe not the Cup and we’re undefeated at home this summer.”
Next up for the Wolverines is a home game against South Africa in October, while the Tomahawks now start preparing for the Rugby League World Cup Qualifiers to be played in Philadelphia next month.
The USA, South Africa and Jamaica will be vying for the Atlantic Zone seed in Pool D alongside Wales and Cook Islands.