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Rough day for Canada at Tokyo Sevens rugby

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The Canadian Press
3/30/2013 10:42:23 AM
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TOKYO -- Canada had a disappointing first day at the 2013 Tokyo Sevens on Saturday, going 1-2 including an upset loss to host Japan.

Former Wallaby Lote Tuqiri and New Zealander Jamie Henry, with his debut try for the Cherry Blossoms, scored for Japan. Nathan Hiryama replied for Canada, who had Chauncy O'Toole sent to the sin bin during the 14-10 loss. It marked only the fourth time Japan has beaten Canada in rugby sevens.

The Canadian men bounced back to defeat France 22-19 before losing 22-12 to Series leader New Zealand to finish third in Pool C.

Canada will now play Kenya in the quarter-finals of the consolation Bowl competition.

New Zealand will face the U.S. in the Cup quarter-finals. Other quarter-final pairings see Fiji against defending Tokyo champion Australia, Samoa versus South Africa and Scotland versus France.

Canada came into the seventh stop of the HSBC Sevens series on a roll.

The Canadians lost 12-7 to Samoa in the Plate final to finish sixth last weekend in Hong Kong. Before that, they finished fifth in Las Vegas, defeating Scotland 22-5 to win the Plate competition, and beat Fiji 28-19 in the Bowl final to place ninth in New Zealand.

Canada, restored as one of the full-time core teams this season, currently stands ninth in the series standings.

Down 7-0 to France on Saturday, Sean Duke, Harry Jones and John Moonlight scored tries for Canada to lead 15-7 at the break. Julien Candelon then raced 90 metres for a French try to cut the margin to 15-14, but a late O'Toole try ensured the Canadian win.

Facing the All Blacks in their final game of the day, the Canadians knew they would advance to the Cup quarter-finals if they lost by eight points or less. But they found themselves down 17-5 at the break, with a Moonlight try providing the Canadian points.

A Hirayama try cut the lead to 17-12 but Belgium Tuatagaloa scored his second try for New Zealand to seal the 22-12 win.

Its quarter-final berth secured, New Zealand rested many of its top players against Canada.

Rugby (Photo: Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)

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(Photo: Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)
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