Canada West edge Canada East
Canada Rugby
April 7, 2007

A late Eric Wilson penalty kick punctuated a second half comeback by Canada West to give them a tight 26-24 win in the opening round of the North American Four tournament at UBC's Thunderbird Stadium in Vancouver, BC Saturday.

It was the fly-half's third penalty kick of the half after he had taken on the kicking duties from David Spicer and gave him a personal points haul of 14 points, as he scored a try in the first half as well.

Despite the loss, it was a dramatic return to form for Canada East, who had lost in a tune-up match to the West 47-16 on Wednesday night.

After falling behind 12-3 midway through the first-half following tries from hooker Pat Riordan and Eric Wilson the East squad mounted a comeback that saw them get tries from wing Jarod Selby, scrum-half Matt Weingart, as well as a penalty try to take a 24-12 lead at the half.

In the second frame the West had a much more controlled approach, settling down in the scrums and then some sparkle began to appear in the backline as Craig Culpan found a gap in 60th minute to draw the score to 24-17. The East then gave up penalties in a number of kickable situations, opening the door for Wilson to slot his three penalties, the final being the winner at 75 minutes.

"In the first half we were a bit frantic and didn't secure our own ball enough, but in the second half we took it back a step and did the basics right and got back some territory and got the win," said David Spicer, who was the Captain of the West squad on the night.

Really happy with the second half performance - At the half I said lets work on what we did in training all week, getting back to basics. At one point we going backwards while we tried to spin it out wide," said Medina, who coached the West to its inaugural NA4 championship in Columbus, Ohio last summer.

In other NA4 action in San Diego the US Falcons scored a comprehensive 48-17 win. All four teams now convene in Stanford, California on May 12 for the next two rounds of the competition.

Scoring:

East 24

Tries: Penalty Try, Jarod Selby, Matt Weingart
Conversions: Steve Piatek (3)
Penalty: Steve Piatek

West: 26
Tries: Pat Riordan, Eric Wilson, Craig Culpan,
Conversions: David Spicer
Penalties: Eric Wilson (3)

Canada East: 15. Ciaran Hearn 14. Jarod Selby 13. Dean Van Camp 12. Brian MacKenzie 11. Kris Witkowski 10. Steve Piatek 9. Matt Weingart 8. Aaron Carpenter 7. Scott Dunham 6. Mike Webb (c) 5. Stu Ault 4. Matt Phinney 3. Mike Pletch 2. Aaron Abrams 1. Dan Pletch

Replacements: 16 Frank Walsh 17. Steve Lamb 18. Jebb Sinclair 19. Jordan Kozina 20. Michael Simpson 21 Robert Wilson 22. Richard O'Malley

Canada West: 15. DTH van der Merwe 14 Chris Thompson 13. Craig Culpan 12. David Spicer 11. Robert Corcoran 10. Eric Wilson 9. Patrick Fleck 8. David Biddle 7. Adam Kleeberger 6. Nanyak Dala 5. Tyler Hotson 4. Aidan Buan 3. Scott Franklin 2. Pat Riordan 1. Hubert Buydens

Replacements: 16. Mark Lawson 17. Patrick Desaulles 18. Emile Christensen 19. Michael MacKay 20. Mark Fisher 21 Spencer Dalziel 22. Carl Pocock

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