Wolverines, The Breakdown

By Daniel Andruczyk

The other day I had comments on the Tomahawks team for the first game of the Colonial Cup. So I figured it was only right and proper that I do something similar for the Canadian Wolverines team who announced their squad last week.

Canada Announce Colonial Cup Team

The Canada Wolverines have made five changes to the team that defeated Jamaica in the Caribbean Cup. The changes see the return of 2010 Atlantic Cup members Cam Grace and Geoff Bylund, while Graham Dobbs, Matt Pettie and Mike Reid will be making their Wolverines debuts.

Coach Jamie Lester commented “Cam has just returned from a season in Australia and should add some starch to our pack and Geoff will relish in his return to the team. Our three debutants have impressed in the domestic season and at practice and deserve their spot in the team. We are all looking forward to matching ourselves against the 13th ranked team in the world”.

The Wolverines face the Tomahawks in Philadelphia on August 27 in the first leg of the Colonial Cup before the return fixture at Fletchers Field on September 17.

Canada Wolverines

  1. Robin Legault, Toronto City Saints
  2. Tony Felix, York Region Reds
  3. Geoff Bylund, Toronto City Saints
  4. Christian Miller, Scarborough Centurions
  5. Matt Pettie, Niagara Bobcats
  6. Jamie Lester, Toronto City Saints
  7. Matt Wyles, Scarborough Centurions
  8. Steve Conlon, Toronto City Saints
  9. Chris Diamond, Niagara Bobcats
  10. Louis Robinson, Harlequins RL
  11. Cam Grace, Noosa Pirates
  12. Henry Miers, York Region Reds
  13. Tyler Allen, Scarborough Centurions
  14. Graham Dobbs, Scarborough Centurions
  15. Dale Fitzgerald, York Region Reds
  16. Mike Reid, Niagara Bobcats
  17. Steve Lamb, Niagara Bobcats
  18. John Felix (18th Man)

Coach: Jamie Lester, Coach: Richie Moore, Manager: Clayton Beckett

Caribbean Festival Team

The team that played Jamaica in the Caribbean Festival weekend was, players that have been re-selected are in red:

  1. Robin Legault
  2. Tony Felix
  3. Stu McReynolds
  4. Christian Miller
  5. Danny Tupou
  6. Jamie Lester
  7. Matt Wyles
  8. Steve Conlon
  9. Chris Diamond
  10. Louis Robinson
  11. Tim Mason
  12. Henry Miers
  13. Trent Hansen
  14. Tyler Allen
  15. Dalg Fitzgerald
  16. Matt Gleed
  17. Steve Lamb

The Analysis

Its a largely unchanged line up from the July 31st Match, where Canada had a resounding 40-10 win over the Jamaicans. Player/Coach Jamie Lester has largely kept the faith with the team with only 5 newcomers into the team. Jamie himself is at the pivotal 5/8th or Stand-off position, where he can control, dictate and move the team and game as he sees fit. Man of the Match from the last game, Danny Topou, has not been selected and Matt Pettie comes into the wing. Also Louis Robinson is flying over from London to play for the Canadians once again. This is wonderful to see, that a player of his ability and calibre is choosing to play for his country of choice, and not making it a one off. Cam Grace is flying over from Noosa to also play his first international for the Wolverines.

Jamie Lester will be key to the Wolverines success, he has the ability to get the ball wide to his wingers and centre’s very quickly, if the Tomahawks defence is not up to speed moving across they will get exploited as Jamaica did. Jamie had a hand in most of the breaks that Canada had down the line. Up front and through the centre of the field Louis Robinson showed why he is in the Harlequins Team, he was by far the standout player next to Tupou in the Jamaica game and was unlucky not to get Man of the Match himself. Louis is a powerful runner of the ball and it took 3-4 players to bring him down, that is a lot of defence he takes out and with a quick play the ball will catch the Tomahawks napping.

Over all is an extremely strong team, one that has now had time to really gel together and start to work on attacking lines. Two weakness’ the Wolverines displayed against Jamaica that the USA could expose if they are not careful. They tended to be slow on their defensive line. The whole team did not move up as a unit from the 10 meters, this exposed holes in the defence and if there is a good dummy Half, winger or centre in the Tomahawks team could expose them there. Also the Canadians very occasionally fell asleep in defence when pressed up on their try line. Jamaica were able to get their two tries from lapses in concentration there. If the Canadians can fix these two problems then they may very well beat the USA.

 

Daniel Andruczyk’s email: daniel@rugbyleagueinternationalscores.com
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