Romania over Canada in their final 2015 Rugby World Cup match

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Disappointing second half for Canada sees Romania snatch come-from-behind victory through Florin Vlaicu penalty in 78th minute 
LEICESTER, ENGLAND – A 78th minute penalty by Florin Vlaicu gave Romania a 17-15 victory over Canada in their final 2015 Rugby World Cup match tonight in Leicester. Canada had built a 15-0 lead thanks to tries from DTH van der Merwe and Jeff Hassler but Romania scored 10 points in the final five minutes to pull off the victory.

“It’s truly disappointing every time we lose,” Canada captain Jamie Cudmore said. “I’d personally like to apologize to everyone. It just wasn’t good enough.”  

With eight minutes left, a Romania try was upheld but referee Wayne Barnes came back for an earlier infraction that saw him send Jebb Sinclair to the sin bin. Romanian captain Mihai Macovei would touch down two minutes later for his second try of the game after scoring earlier in the 53rd minute. Centre Florin Vlaicu, Romania’s all-time points leader, would then step up in the 78th minute to slot home the game-winner. It’s the fourth straight time Romania has beaten Canada.

“We played all right in first half but didn’t get enough points,” Canada head coach Kieran Crowley said. “In the second half, their scrum and drive got going and we were pretty naive in our decision making which is pretty disappointing.”

With an 8-0 lead at half time, Canada got off to a flying start in the second half as Jeff Hassler, who had missed the last two games due to injury, scored his fourth test try after bulldozing through the Romanian line. He was named man of the match.

“We were very close,” Hassler said. “We’re losing in the last few minutes, we will learn and we’ve shown the world we can compete with the top nations.”


After Macovei’s first try, Canada had a chance to get three points back but Nathan Hirayama’s penalty missed. In total, Canada left 11 points on the board through missed kicks.
“We have to stop learning,” Crowley said. “We can’t keep learning all the time. We had that game there and we lost it.”
McRorie thought he had his first career test try less than five minutes in to the game as he snuck down the sideline after picking up the ball from the ruck but Barnes called it back for an infraction on Nick Blevins at the breakdown.
McRorie was at it again five minutes later but his penalty missed left but it took just two minutes more for him to give Canada an early 3-0 lead, a deserved reward for a dominant opening 15 minutes by Canada.
Romania had a chance to tie the game but Vlaicu’s effort from the halfway line came up short and two minutes later Catalin Fercu was sent to the sin bin for taking Blevins out in the air. Canada couldn’t generate much with the man advantage however — McRorie missing a second penalty the best they could muster.
Canada’s attacking prowess was awarded in the 34th minute when van der Merwe went over for his fourth try in four World Cup games after Canada used the overlap out wide giving the Scarlets man his 20th test try while becoming the first man playing for a Tier 2 nation to score four tries in four successive Rugby World Cup matches. He also becomes only the second player to score in all four pool games at a World Cup — Shane Williams of Wales in 2007 is the other.
Canada concludes it’s Rugby World Cup campaign by going 0-4, only the second time they’ve never won a game at the tournament. Despite the results, Canada demonstrated they can compete with the best nations in the world as in matches against three Tier 1 nations, Canada came very close to beating Italy and kept Ireland and France in check for large portions of the game.
“We’re progressing,” Cudmore said. “We’ve shown we can play with the big boys. We need more games like that as that’s the only way we can progress. We played attractive rugby. We just need more games against top competition.”
Jake Ilnicki made his Rugby World Cup debut as a replacement Tuesday while James Pritchard replaced Harry Jones to take part in his fourth Rugby World Cup.
“There’s always something to build on,” Crowley said. “The bottom line is we didn’t win today and we should have.”
Canada’s starting team to face Romania – (Club), Hometown, Province
1. Hubert Buydens – (Unattached/Prairie Wolf Pack) Saskatoon, SK
2. Ray Barkwill – (Unattached/Ontario Blues) Niagara Falls, ON
3. Doug Wooldridge – (Lindsay RFC/Ontario Blues) Lindsay, ON
4. Brett Beukeboom – (Cornish Pirates) Lindsay, ON
5. Jamie Cudmore – Captain (Clermont Auvergne) Squamish, BC
6. Jebb Sinclair – (London Irish) Fredericton, NB
7. John Moonlight – (James Bay AA/Ontario Blues) Pickering, ON
8. Aaron Carpenter – (Cornish Pirates/Ontario Blues) Brantford, ON
9. Gordon McRorie – (Calgary Hornets/Prairie Wolf Pack) Calgary, AB
10. Nathan Hirayama – (UVIC Vikes/BC Bears) Vancouver, BC
11. DTH van der Merwe – (Scarlets) Victoria, BC
12. Nick Blevins – (Calgary Hornets/Prairie Wolf Pack) Calgary, AB
13. Ciaran Hearn – (Unattached/Atlantic Rock) Conception Bay South, NL
14. Jeff Hassler – (Ospreys) Okotoks, AB
15. Harry Jones – (Capilano RFC/BC Bears) North Vancouver, BC
16. Benoit Piffero – (Unattached/Atlantic Rock) Montreal, QC
17. Djustice Sears-Duru – (Oakville Crusaders/Ontario Blues) Oakville, ON
18. Jake Ilnicki – (Castaway Wanderers/BC Bears) Williams Lake, BC
19. Kyle Gilmour – (Rotherham Titans/Prairie Wolf Pack) St. Albert, AB
20. Nanyak Dala – (Castaway Wanderers/Prairie Wolf Pack) Saskatoon, SK
21. Phil Mack – (James Bay AA/BC Bears) Victoria, BC
22. Conor Trainor – (UBCOB Ravens/BC Bears) Vancouver, BC
23. James Pritchard – (Bedford Blues) Parkes, NSW, Australia
Unavailable due to injury:
Tyler Ardron – (Ospreys) Lakefield, ON
Matt Evans – (Cornish Pirates) Maple Bay, BC
Senior Men’s Coaching Staff:
Head Coach: Kieran Crowley
Forwards Coach: Neil Barnes
Assistant Coach: Leo Crowley
Scrum Coach: Mike Shelley
Manager: Gareth Rees
Romania team to face Canada:
1 Mihaita Lazar
2 Otar Turashvili
3 Paulica Ion
4 Valentin Poparlan
5 Johannes van Heerden
6 Valentin Ursache
7 Viorel Lucaci
8 Mihai Macovei (c)
9 Florin Surugiu
10 Michael Wiringi
11 Ionut Botezatu
12 Florin Vlaicu
13 Paula Kinikinilau
14 Madalin Lemnaru
15 Catalin Fercu
16 Andrei Radoi
17 Andrei Ursache
18 Alexandru Tarus
19 Daniel Carpo
20 Stelian Burcea
21 Valentin Calafeteanu
22 Adrian Apostol
23 Csaba Gal

Scoring summary:

Tries: DTH van der Merwe, Jeff Hassler
Penalties: Gordon McRorie
Conversions: Nathan Hirayama

Tries: Mihai Macovei  (2)
Penalties: Florin Vlaicu
Conversions: Florin Vlaicu