Late Samoan try seals 23-13 victory for 11th ranked ‘Manu Samoa’ over 17th Canada in second-to-last game of November Tour
Jordan Wilson-Ross photo credit Ian Muir/Rugby Canada
(ISN) – VANNES, FRANCE – Canada went down to a 13-23 defeat against Samoa at Stade de la Rabine in Vannes, France, on Friday but will feel the game was there for the taking.
Kieran Crowley’s charges were only 13-16 with ten minutes remaining in their third tour fixture before a costly error in their own 22 ultimately ended their challenge. Next week the squad will take on Romania at Stadionul National Arcul de Triumf as they look to end on a high in their final game of their end-of-year series.
Rain was in the air at kick-off but it abated halfway through the opening stanza as both teams looked to keep errors to a minimum in the slippery conditions. Samoa certainly started the brighter and enjoyed most of the possession and territory early on but would have to wait for their first points as fly-half Michael Stanley was off-target from the tee on three minutes.
Canada were needing to draw on all their defensive grit to keep Samoa at bay and eventually it was a scrum penalty that created the chance for Stanley to make amends, with the playmaker nailing his second attempt.
What made life tougher for the Canadians was their inability to find touch, which would have relieved the pressure being placed on their line. Ultimately it cost them points as Stanley doubled the margin from in front of the posts.
A quarter of the game had been played when Crowley’s men finally enjoyed decent territory, however a snipe from scrum-half Gordon McRorie unfortunately ended with him being driven into touch by opposite number Kahn Fotuali’i.
It was a rare foray for the team in the opening half so when centre Conor Trainor was yellow carded for a deliberate knock down, pressure was expected to be mounted by the Samoans in the final ten minutes before half-time.
Three points would arrive for Stanley on 31 minutes when lock Jamie Cudmore was warned by referee George Clancy but Canada admirably hit back before the interval, with McRorie landing one of his own from the halfway line for 3-9.
Further encouragement came two minutes after the resumption as McRorie was on-target for his second penalty, reducing the gap to three points.
But he would have a moment to forget thirteen minutes later when excellent running from centre Trainor led to his offload heading toward McRorie’s hands. Unfortunately, the scrum-half couldn’t hold the pass with the line at his mercy.
It came back to haunt Canada too as Samoa replacement prop Anthony Perenise powered over from a pick and go against the run of play, which pushed the islanders into a 6-16 advantage with Stanley’s extras. Canada’s task had grown.
But they showed excellent spirit to fight their way back to within three points with ten minutes remaining as from a James Pritchard touch finder, a line-out maul led to the ball being returned to the blindside where Trainor crashed over the whitewash, making it 13-16 with Pritchard’s conversion.
Canada now required territory to apply pressure on the Samoans and hopefully create an opportunity to level, if not move in front. However a mistake at the restart floored their hopes as Nanyak Dala’s risky pass to replacement Pat Parfrey saw the ball come loose for Samoa’s Winston Stanley to cross. From that moment on the 13-23 scoreline seemed out of reach.
Gordon McRorie photo credit Ian Muir/Rugby Canada
Pen: McRorie 2
Tries: Perenise, W Stanley
Con: M Stanley 2
Pen: M Stanley 3
CANADA’S STARTING ROSTER TO FACE SAMOA:
1- Hubert Buydens – Captain (Unattached/Prairie Wolf Pack) Saskatoon, SK
2- Aaron Carpenter – (Cornish Pirates RFC) Brantford, ON
3- Jason Marshall – (Hawkes Bay Magpies/BC Bears) Vancouver, BC
4- Jamie Cudmore – (ASM Clermont Auvergne) Squamish, BC
5- Brett Buekeboom – (Plymouth Albion) Lindsay, ON
6- Kyle Gilmour – (St. Albert RFC/Prairie Wolf Pack) St. Albert, AB
7- Nanyak Dala – (Castaway Wanderers/Prairie Wolf Pack) Saskatoon, SK
8- Jebb Sinclair – (London Irish/Atlantic Rock) Fredericton, NB
9- Gordon McRorie – (Calgary Hornets/Prairie Wolf Pack) Calgary, AB
10- Connor Braid – (Glasgow Warriors/BC Bears) Victoria, BC
11- DTH van der Merwe – (Glasgow Warriors) Regina, SK
12- Ciaran Hearn – (Castaway Wanderers/Atlantic Rock) Conception Bay South, NL
13- Conor Trainor – (UBCOB Ravens/BC Bears) Vancouver, BC
14- Jeff Hassler – (Ospreys/Prairie Wolf Pack) Okotoks, AB
15- James Pritchard – (Bedford Blues) Parkes, NSW, Australia
16- Ray Barkwill – (Unattached/Ontario Blues) Niagara Falls, ON
17- Jake Ilnicki – (NSW Country Eagles/BC Bears) Williams Lake, BC
18- Andrew Tiedemann – (Plymouth Albion) St. Albert, AB
19- Jon Phelan – (Doncaster Knights/Atlantic Rock) Montreal, QC
20- Richard Thorpe – (London Welsh) Beckenham, Kent, England
21- Sean White – (James Bay AA/BC Bears) Victoria, BC
22- Patrick Parfrey – (Swilers RFC/Atlantic Rock) St. Johns, NL
23- Jordan Wilson-Ross – (James Bay AA/Ontario Blues) Alliston, ON
Unavailable due to injury:
Tyler Ardron – (Ospreys) Lakefield, ON
Matt Evans – (Cornish Pirates) Maple Bay, BC
Harry Jones – (Capilano RFC/BC Bears) Vancouver, BC
Phil Mack – (James Bay AA/BC Bears) Victoria, BC
Phil Mackenzie – (Sale Sharks) Oakville, ON
Mike Scholz – (Castaway Wanderers/Ontario Blues) Oakville, ON
Liam Underwood – (Ontario Blues) Toronto, ON
Canada’s Men’s Team Staff:
Kieran Crowley – Head Coach
Gareth Rees – Manager
Neil Barnes – Assistant Coach
Scott Hanson – Attack coach
Andy Evans – Strength and Conditioning Coach
Calum Ramsay – Performance Analyst
Alana Gattinger – Team Services
Mike Cook – Therapist
Carla Brash – Therapist
CANADA’S NOVEMBER TOUR FIXTURES:
Canada 23 – 28 RFU Championship XV
November 2, 2014
Sixways Stadium, Worcester, England
Kick off: 3:15pm local time (10:15am ET/7:15am PT)
Canada 17 – 13 Namibia
November 7, 2014
Parc Eirias, Colwyn Bay, Wales
Kick off: 7pm local time (2pm ET/11am PT)
Canada 13-23 Samoa
November 14, 2014
Stade de la Rabine, Vannes, France
Canada vs. Romania
November 22, 2014
Stadionul National Arcul de Triumf, Bucharest
Kick off: 6:30pm local time (11:30am ET/8:30am PT)
Watch LIVE on http://rugbytv.ro.