Canada hold Japan to a 23-all draw
Canada fought to their second successive draw with Japan at the rugby
World Cup on Tuesday, and while the two points were welcomed by captain
Pat Riordan he felt the 23-23 tie was ďa bit like kissing your cousin.Ē
Canadian flyhalf Ander Monro slotted a 79th minute penalty to snatch the
draw in their Pool A match at McLean Park to extend Japanís winless
streak at the World Cup since their 52-8 win over Zimbabwe in 1991.
The two sides also met at the 2007 World Cup in France and finished
tied 12-12. Monro, who also scored a 75th-minute try, had endured a
dreadful kicking game, missing three of his previous four attempts
before the match-saving penalty.
Canada centre DTH van der Merwe and winger Phil Mackenzie scored
earlier tries, while Japan flyhalf James Arlidge notched 13 points with
the boot. The Japanese also scored tries through hooker Shota Horie and
winger Kosuke Endo.
Canada started the brightest and centre van der Merwe opened the
scoring in the seventh minute when he romped over untouched from an
attacking scrum. Fullback James Pritchard converted to give the North
Americans a 7-0 lead.
Japan struck back almost immediately when Horie burrowed over with
Arlidge converting then adding a penalty to give the Pacific Nations Cup
champions a 10-7 lead.
The Japanese took advantage of the stiff westerly breeze to take
control of the game, though they blew two try-scoring opportunities when
fullback Shaun Webb was forced out when he had winger Hirotoki Onizawa
in support and captain Takashi Kikutani threw the ball out when Endo was
Endo, however, ensured Japan did not waste their territorial
advantage when he scored under the posts from an attacking scrum and
Arlidge converted to give them a 17-7 lead at the break.
Canada replied after halftime when Mackenzie scored from another
attacking scrum as he drifted across field and outstripped the defence
with his pace.
Turnovers in the tackle and at the breakdown kept haunting Canada and
they were only able to reduce the deficit through a penalty to Monro.
Arlidge restored Japanís five-point lead two minutes later with a
penalty kick before Monro scored his late try and penalty to snatch the
New Zealand Reuters