Canada make it two from two
August 14, 2011
DTH van der Merwe was on song for Canada
© Getty Images
Canada continued their preparations for the Rugby World Cup with a 27-7 victory over the US Eagles at a sold-out Infinity Park in Colorado on Saturday.
Having seen off their close rivals 28-22 in Toronto last weekend, Kieran Crowley's Canadian side dug deep to survive the sin-binnings of Jamie Cudmore and Chauncey O'Toole, outscoring their hosts by three tries to one.
Glasgow winger DTH van der Merwe bagged their first after five minutes, with fullback James Pritchard adding a penalty despite the loss of Cudmore and O'Toole.
Eddie O'Sullivan's Eagles eventually found a response as fullback Blaine Scully capitalised on a well-judged kick to score, with Nese Malifa adding the extras just before the break. Louis Stanfill looked to have scored the hosts' second after the restart, but the TMO ruled that he had been held up over the line, wasting a mazy run from Biarritz wing Taku Ngwenya.
Pritchard's second penalty extended Canada's lead after USA hooker Chris Biller had been shown yellow for not rolling away and the visitors twice struck from long range to wrap up the victory. Aaron Carpenter profited from a Van der Merwe turnover before Phil Mackenzie drew a line under proceedings by finishing a neat kick ahead from his wing partner.
Crowley called for his players to step up their game at the final whistle, insisting that their discipline, first-up defence and possession stats must improve.
"First-half we killed ourselves with penalties, which kept them in the game and we were down to 13 men for a while," Crowley said. "The second-half we tidied up a little bit and we still didn't create a lot but the scrambling defence was outstanding. We did fall off a few first-up tackles but our scrambling defence was a feature and that saved us in the end.
"We would have enjoyed a little bit more possession, we didn't create heaps because of our lack of the ball. We've got a lot of work to do but the pleasing thing is we've come away from this period with two wins."
Canada now travel to Australia for a pair of World Cup warm-up games, while the Eagles face Japan in Tokyo on August 21.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
"There is a duty to ensure that every person who decides to participate in rugby has an understanding of the possible lasting effects of concussion." Rory Lamont tells his story
'They were generally big strong players, but they never struck me as clever players' - Huw Richards rewinds to 1888 when the New Zealand Natives toured Great Britain
There were some thrilling matches in the Heineken Cup this weekend, some dire games and a couple of pointless exercises. Monday Maul looks back at the talking points
The latest Week in Pictures brings you a selection of the best snaps from around the rugby world with a topless Carlin Isles and scantily clad Waratahs players featuring