With a buzzing record Rugby Canada crowd of 29,480 on hand at B.C. Place Stadium, our very own Andrew Coe suited up to represent Canada against a strong Maori team. Andrew's exploits on the field were rewarded with Man of the Match honours. Andrew, congratulations on this accomplishment and we all look forward to following your amazing journey.
The Maori All Blacks are separate from the powerhouse New Zealand All Blacks. Players must have their Maori ancestry confirmed in order to represent the side, but Ngatai and Brad Weber, who both started, each have a cap with the full national team.
Canada started off strong and looked like they would give the team from New Zealand a go when they went ahead 6-3 on two made penalty kicks. By half the Maori started to play like they know how and went up 27-10 at the break.
Canada's Josh Larsen was sent to the sin bin in the 58th minute, and the All Blacks made them pay in the 63rd when Stevenson scored another try off a lineout to make the score 39-9. Garden-Bachop missed the convert, but made amends with a try in the 70th before adding the extra points to make the score 46-9 before Wainui competed the rout in the 79th minute with the Maori's seventh try.
Canada will now travel to Europe for test matches with No. 12 Georgia on Nov. 11 in Tbilisi, No. 19 Spain on Nov. 18 in Madrid and No. 9 Fiji on Nov. 25 in Montpellier, France.
Apart from pitting themselves against a difficult opponent, Friday was also about drumming up interest among fans for the first leg of Canada's next shot at qualifying for the 2019 Rugby World Cup at B.C. Place against No. 18 Uruguay on Jan. 27.
Highlights - Canada vs. Maori All Blacks - BC Place - Nov 3rd 2017