Canada played a World Cup warm-up match against the US at BC Place Saturday prior to the Rugby World championships.
The match was played in front of a fair size crowd that saw Canada get one of it’s better performances for a final warm-up prior to the start of the World Rugby Cup in Japan.
Canada is ranked 22nd and will play four (4) game’s opening with #14 ranked Italy, September 26th at Fukuoka Hakata Omori No Mori.
They will take on #2 ranked New Zealand October 2nd at Oita Stadium, Oita Prefecture, the #4 ranked South Africa October 8th at Kobe Misaki Stadium, Kobe City followed by a match against the #12 ranked team Namibia October 12th at Kamaishi Recovery Memorial Stadium, Iwate
The match at BC Place was the first of three exhibition matches in preparation of the World Rugby Cup for Canada.
Canada opens scoring on a run by Peter Nelson 1:31 in the match as well and the convert giving them the early 7-0 lead over their American rivals.
The scrums saw Canada use smart ball movement as they converted another try from the edge of the goal line by Peter Nelson that saw them take a 12-0 lead.
Will McGee finally got the US on the scoreboard with a penalty kick goal cutting Canada’s lead to 12-3 at the 22 minute mark of the opening half.
The US scored on a try with under four minutes left in the half score a try Cam Dolan getting the added points on the convert closing the score to 12-10 with two minutes left to end the half.
Canada added to their lead on a penalty kick 3 minutes in as Peter Nelson converted one giving Canada a 15-10 lead with the US continuing to press.
Eventually Will Hooley tied at 15 each only to have the convert failed with 11minutes in the half.
Martin Iosefo gave the US the 20-15 lead but was unable to convert with under 8 minutes left in the match.
With under five minutes left remaining and an injury time out at the final third portion of the field Canada came a few yards short of a comeback victory.
Canada officially secured the birth at last chance tournament qualifier Repechage with a 27-10 win over Hong Kong (November 2018) as the last team gain a berth in the World Cup for 2019.
This marks their 8th appearance in the event and every championship since the Inaugural event in 1987.
Canada’s best performance was reaching the quarter finals in 1991 and will join New Zealand, South Africa, Italy and Namibia in Pool B.
It seems that one issue Canada has to address and fix is having a strong finish to all games as was the case in this game.
It was fitting that prior to the game Blaine Scully was honoured by both teams as he won his 50th cap.
Entering the World Cup has Ireland ranked #1 and have reached the quarterfinals on six separate occasions.
Photo Credit MSN Sports