Canada has exited the Nelson Mandela Bay Sevens tournament with the knowledge they have the depth to compete.
Canada finished up Day 2 of the HSBC Sevens World Series tournament in Port Elizabeth with a 22-19 loss to Scotland in the Bowl final, but head coach Geraint John saw huge positives for the side which was plagued by injury and illness.
John was impressed with his young side, which advanced through to the championship round despite the absence of familiar players Sean White, Nathan Hirayama and John Moonlight.
"Everybody's down because we know that's a game we should have won, but there are positives because we've showed we had strength and depth so that's very bright for the future," John said.
Canada was also missing regular captain Phil Mack and Lukas Balkovec, who returned home due to injury following the Dubai Sevens last weekend.
Lucas Hammond, who made is international sevens debut for Canada last weekend, said the team rallied together despite the challenges.
"We kept a pretty positive attitude, especially when the injuries came in," Hammond said. "Everyone just stepped up. "It's very good for Canada in general having the young guys coming through, it's only going to boost us.
"I think we did very well to get where we did, unfortunately we couldn't finish it off. Thanks to everyone for their support, it means a lot."
A strong start and late charge were not enough for Canada's men to secure the Bowl championship.
Canada entered the game with a lot of confidence, shown by Sean Duke putting Canada on the scoreboard on the first play of the match.
Scotland fired back with two tries in quick succession before Canada was able to close to gap through Dustin Dobravsky to tie it at 12-12, but a try on half time gave Scotland a 17-12 edge.
Canada held Scotland out in the early stages of the second, but a burst of speed saw them extend their lead to 22-12. Finally with some consistent possession, Canada scored through Dobravsky from a superb Nanyak Dala offload from contact.
But Canada's last try came on the final whistle and not even a Ciaran Hearn drop goal conversion from the sideline could change the result.
"We showed a little bit of inexperience and panic toward the end of the game," John said. "But for the new players to have done what they did and gained such experience is very positive.
"When you take out three key players and play three games with nine players, the team isn't as fresh as it should be at the end."
Canada started the day with a 21-0 shutout win over Morocco. Two converted tries in the first half gave Canada a solid 14-0 hold on the game.
They went on to score late in the second, as they took advantage of a yellow card to Morroco to seal the win.
Onto the Bowl semifinal and a topsy turvy affair with the United States.
Sean Duke opened the scoring 30 seconds in, but the States fired back three minutes later to take a 7-5 lead.
Five minutes in, injury callup Harry Jones gave Canada the lead, converting his own try for a 12-7 advantage. Lucas Hammond capped scoring in the firs to give Canada a 17-7 lead.
The States drew first blood five minutes into the second half to close the gap to 17-12, but Duke scored again to seal the win.
Over the last two weekends, Canada has defeated three core teams. The sides performances in Port Elizabeth earned the side seven points toward the overall standings, placing them in outright 12th, above core team Kenya (ranked 15th) and just below Samoa in 11th.
The Canadian men will now enjoy a two-month break from competition before heading to the Wellington Sevens in New Zealand on Feb. 3 and 4, 2012.
The Canadian national men's sevens side would like to thank Presenting Sponsor Macquarie Financial and Associate Sponsor Trafigura.
Thanks also to the Canadian Rugby Foundation for its continued support of Canada's rugby sevens initiatives.
Canada 21 - Morocco 0
Canada tries - Harry Jones, Sean Duke, Conor McCann. Conversions - Jones, Connor Braid.
Canada 22- USA 12
Canada tries - Sean Duke (2), Harry Jones, Lucas Hammond. Conversions - Jones.
Canada 19 - Scotland 22
Canada tries - Sean Duke, Dustin Dobravsky (2). Conversions - Ciaran Hearn (2).
Canadian men's sevens squad - Port Elizabeth
1. Dustin Dobravsky
2. Connor Braid
3. Lucas Hammond
4. John Moonlight
5. Sean White
6. Sean Duke
7. Harry Jones
8. Conor McCann
9. Nathan Hirayama
10. Ciaran Hearn
11. Beau Parker
12. Nanyak Dala
Geraint John - Head coach
Kieran Crowley - Assistant coach
Brian Hunter - Manager
Ben Suen - Therapist
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