Indigenous Australian Rugby Team Lose Against Rugby Quebec Selects

Rugby Quebec vs. Indigenous Australian Rugby Team

The Indigenous Australian Rugby Team lost to the Rugby Quebec Selects 26-12 on Friday, September 21 at Percival-Molson Stadium at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec. The match was the third one in six days on tour.

The Quebec Provincial side raced to a 19-0 lead before the IART cut the lead to 19-7 at the break. It rained early in the match and during the first half handling errors by the Australian side thwarted the few opportunities that they had later in the half. A red card received by vice-captain Peter Fitzsimmons had IART playing down a man for the last 60 minutes of the match.

The Indigenous Australian Invitational Rugby Team began their six-match rugby tour of the U.S. and Canada with a 72-19 win against Army West Point B at the Anderson Rugby Complex on the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y. on September 18. Following the match, the team traveled to Boston and played the Portland Rugby Football Club at Deering Memorial Stadium in Portland, Maine on September 19, winning 69-19.

The tour is a cultural exchange for the team and not only is the team playing six matches during a two week period, but it has also been traveling extensively and has been involved in community events. As mentioned in an excerpt of an article by Anne-Marie Yvon found further below, a goal of the tour is training future Aboriginal leaders.

In Montreal, the team (from Match Preview) attended the First People’ House 17th Annual Pow Wow at McGill University. They had the opportunity to speak with professors from the Department of Native Studies at John Abbott College in Saint-Anne-de-Bellevue.

on Sunday, September 23, the team will play the Ontario Blues Senior Development XV at Oshawa Vikings RFC before traveling to Toronto. Then the team flies to Denver and will play the Indigenous Warriors at the University of Denver on September 26 at 6 pm MT, before their final match on Sep. 28 against California State University – Long Beach. The following day the team concludes their tour and flies from Los Angeles back to Queensland, Australia.

The Indigenous Australian Rugby Team is an under-25 squad comprised of players of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders descent. Selection to the invitational team was based on the contributions made as a player, as well as to their communities.

Quebec vs. IART Match Recap – David John Conyers, Backs Coach

Tour Match 3 versus Quebec Province, Friday, September 21st, 2018, McGill University Stadium, Montreal, Canada
Full-time 26-12,  Halftime 19-7

“The touring Indigenous Australian rugby team played their third game in 6 days against a very strong Quebec XV. The tourists were in strife after the opening twenty minutes when the local hosts bounced 19 quick points on them to lead 19-0. The comeback was further impeded when vice-captain Peter Fitzsimmons was red carded for an alleged kicking incident. Video evidence supports his innocence and the game was essentially ruined from that moment on.”

The lack of a preparation area pregame and just an 18 minute warm-up time was less than desirable for the IAIR squad and this reflected in the way we started.

Torrential rain at the start of the match and a slippery ball played into the hands of the locals as they scored twice of kick options and repeated infringement penalties from their opponents.

After the initial onslaught and now down to 14 men for the last 60 minutes of the game, the visitors pulled together and increased workloads to cover for it. This added to the intensity of the game and some big hits were exchanged as eight-man Leonard Snowball sidelined a couple of the Quebec lads with some crunching hits.

Having had to defend for largely for the first 30 minutes of the game, the emerging combination of some good forward raids and incisive backline play soon gained valuable territory for the Indigenous lads.
Scrum-half Ethan WIkaira showed his stepping prowess when he jinked his way past 4 defenders to dot one down under the sticks and pull back 7 valuable points for his depleted team.

Trailing 7-19 at the long break the team showed incredible resolve considering they had been punished from all quarters. The second half began to show signs of change as the midfield backs began to find space that was built on some strong carries from the bigger IAIR forwards through the middle.

The man they call GI again found his beautiful, loping stride as he glided his way through the defenses and headed for the line. Two phases later and some power punching at the line, big man Liam Bilstons crunched his way over out wide to close the score to 12-19.

The next period of play was owned by the Australians and can consider themselves grossly unlucky as Corbin Walters slammed the ball on the line in a desperate lunge that went unrewarded. That moment could really have changed the dynamics of the game as the momentum was now swinging towards the tourists.

The Quebec team then gained field position again through repeated penalties and sheer weight of numbers to score the final points and close out the game at 26-12.

The game although lost was a great learning curve for the IAIR squad in that they battled to the final whistle and with a man down for the most of match proved that adversity and trying conditions can be overcome with spirit and the great mateship they exhibit as a race.

Overall a magnificent team effort, standouts were Ethan Wikaira who also suffered an HIA, Leonard Snowball who really stepped up the tempo that was needed to stay in the game, rookie Corbin Walters who has really turned up to play this tour. Tight five hardman Liam Bilston continues to intimate oppositions with his power running as does lock, Elliot Thompson.

The team now travels to Toronto where they will play an Ontario development selection, Sunday eastern time after a 5-hour bus trip.”

Rugby Quebec Match Reflections by John Lavery, Coach

Highlightable areas from our view were the inclusion of several Under 19 players in the match (Dionisopoulos, Recher, Davies, Aquino, Chazal, Bugay, Matthews, and Forteza) as well as some new players getting their first run out with the program. One Specifically was Marc Antoine Ouellette, a recent graduate of the Laval University Football program. It is his first full season of rugby and he had an impressive display in the second half having been developed by the Quebec City Rugby Club. The game was run Barbarians style with boys from all over the province, were added to the nucleus of our current provincial squad who were missing many of their University players due to Varsity commitments. Coach Andy Plimer and myself reached out across the province to find some good young athletes we wanted to see included in the occasion. On that front the game was a massive success from our perspective.
Tries were scored Thomas Bernatene, Andreas Dinoisopoulos (Captain), Kaleb Royer Nemat, and Gregory Recher (Still Under 18).
The forwards gave us a solid platform from which to operate and the inclusion of Welshman Patrick Atkinson (3 Conversions) at 10 really seems to have unlocked some of the latent attacking potential we have been hoping to see all season in our backline.
I thought we could have scored a couple more but for some tight calls on forward passes and a knock on in the end zone.
The boys took some time to adjust to the Australians Physicality in the tackle, but I think they fought through the difficult start really well and showed some real courage and strength under pressure. It would have been easy to be intimidated by some of the huge tackles they were putting in but our leaders led well by example and we played some tactically sounds rugby and took advantage of our chances.
The red card was on their number 20 for a stamp on the chest of our tight head prop, and proved a pretty decisive moment in the game which had a real physical edge throughout. Our young boys will take a lot from it as they would rarely be challenged in that way or with that level of ferocity in games in our region. Full credit to Aussie boys for pushing us ot the limit over 80 play 60 mins a man down. In that rain, that took real guts and determination.

Article Radio-Canada, 21 September 2018

by Anne-Marie Yvon (Translation on The Indigenous Australian Rugby Team Facebook Page)

Excerpt from article

“The rugby players of the senior Quebec team had only to behave well, they faced Friday night the Indigenous Australian Invitational Rugby Team (IAIR) at Percival Molson Stadium in Montreal. These 22 young under 25 from Australia land for the first time in Canada after an American tour during which they won all their matches.”

According to their coach, John Browne, “They do not have to be the best rugby players in the world, but they have to be good role models for their community and act responsibly. ”

Players were selected from all over Australia, the players had two years to train together and collect money to participate in this trip that has already taken them to New York at the West Point Military Academy. and in Boston. “We want to train future Aboriginal leaders.”

John Browne, Coach of the Indigenous Australian Invitational Rugby Team added that
“At each stop, young players take part in official activities and sightseeing, but what interests them most is the cultural exchange.”

Photo: Radio-Canada/Anne-Marie Yvon

Rugby Quebec Selects & IART Squads

Rugby Quebec Selects: 1. Nico Krawczyk 2. Mitch Spooner 3. Roman Cao-Riquelme 4. Marc-Antoine Bourget 5. David Morgan 6. Thomas Bernatene 7. David MacLeod 8. Andreas Dionisopoulos 9. Gregory Recher 10. Patrick Atkinson 11. Guillaume Chazal 12. Gareth Williams 13. Kaleb Royer Nimat 14. Tomás Costanzo 15. Emilien Bugay 16. Conrade Luthe 17. Marc Ouellet 18. Pierre-Luc Mailloux 19. Bernie Kaminski 20. William Matthews 21.Tyler Stevenson 22. Justin Davies 23. Rafael Forteza 24. Alessandro Aquin

IART vs. Rugby Quebec Selects: 1 Kai Lowah (c) 2 Jerome Wills 3 Liam Bilston 4 Elliot Thompson 5 Daniel Rosendale 6 Josef Wilson 7 Peter Fitzsimmons (VC) 8 Leonard Snowball 9 Ethan Wikaria-Noosa 10 Aaron Williams 11 Corbin Walters 12 Isaiah Huet 13 Deon Evans-Ao14 Josh Smith 15 Ruben House 16 Bryce Anderson 17 Aaron Brown 18 Connor Lynch 19 Mitchell Hudson 20 Braeden Smith 21 Tiriwa Gristwood 22 David Green 23 Matt Saul 24 Aiden Wikaria 25 Sayman Shepperd 26 Anthony Fuller

Support Staff
Manager: Darrell Morris – Townsville
Head Coach: John Browne – Townsville
Forwards Coach: Bernard Green – Townsville
Backs Coach and Technical Adviser: David Conyers – Bathurst
Assistant Manager: Kelli Smith – Queanbeyan
Head Trainer / Player Welfare: Wade Smith – Queanbeyan
Trainer: Faith Donahue – Queanbeyan
Physiotherapist: James Pearce – Canberra
Player Mentor: Peter Nugent – Bathurst
Team Doctor: Dr. Ross Wilson – Bathurst
Team Patron: Sean Armistead – Melbourne

IART Tour Matches, Clinic, and Preview Article

  • Sep. 18 vs. Army West Point at U.S. Military Academy- W 72-19
  • Sep. 19 vs. Portland RFC in Portland, Maine – W 69-19
  • Sep. 21 vs. Rugby Quebec Selects in Montreal, Quebec L 26-12 Preview
  • Sep. 23 vs Ontario Blues Senior Development XV at 3:30 pm ET in Oshawa, Canada
  • Sep. 26 Indigenous Warriors at the University of Denver 6 pm MT
  • Sep. 28 California State University-Long Beach
  • Sep. 29 Depart Los Angeles


IART Tour match selections

IART vs. Army West Point: 1 Kai Lowah (c) 2 Jerome Wills 3 Liam Bilston 4 Braeden Smith 5 Elliot Thompson 6 Josef Wilson 7 Peter Fitzsimmons (VC) 8 Leonard Snowball 9 Ethan Wikaria-Noosa 10 Aaron Williams 11 Matt Saul 12 Anthony Fuller 13 Isaiah Huet-Emerald 14 Corbin Walters 15 Deon Evans-Ao 16 Connor Lynch 17 Aaron Brown 18 Mitchell Hudson 19 Daniel Rosendale 20 Bryce Adams 21 Sayman Shepperd 22 David Green 23 Ruben House 24 Aiden Wikaria 25 Josh Smith 26 Tiriwa Gristwood

IART vs. Portland: 1 Connor Lynch 2 Bryce Adamson 3 Aaron Brown 4 Mitchell Hudson 5 Daniel Rosendale 6 Josef Wilson 7 Corbin Walters 8 Liam Bilston 9 Tiriwa Gristwood 10 David Green 11 Josh Smith 12 Aiden Wikaira 13 Deon Evans-Ao 14 Shayman Shepperd 15 Ruben House 16 Jerome Wills 17 Kai Lowah 18 Elliot Thompson 19 Braeden Smith 20 Peter Fitzsimmons 21 Leonard Snowball 22 Anthony Fuller 23 Aaron Williams 24 Ethan Wikaria-Noosa 25 Isaiah Huet-Emerald 26 Matt Saul

IART vs. Rugby Quebec Selects: 1 Kai Lowah (c) 2 Jerome Wills 3 Liam Bilston 4 Elliot Thompson 5 Daniel Rosendale 6 Josef Wilson 7 Peter Fitzsimmons (VC) 8 Leonard Snowball 9 Ethan Wikaria-Noosa 10 Aaron Williams 11 Corbin Walters 12 Isaiah Huet 13 Deon Evans-Ao14 Josh Smith 15 Ruben House 16 Bryce Anderson 17 Aaron Brown 18 Connor Lynch 19 Mitchell Hudson 20 Braeden Smith 21 Tiriwa Gristwood 22 David Green 23 Matt Saul 24 Aiden Wikaria 25 Sayman Shepperd 26 Anthony Fuller

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