Monday, November 15, 2010
Canada defeat Spain in Madrid
On Saturday afternoon Canada made it two wins from two international matches in their current four match tour of Europe in defeating Rugby World Cup 1999 participants, Spain 60-22 in Madrid scoring eight tries to two. In what was the first ever match between the two countries, a crowd of over 8,000 attented the match at the Madrid’s Complutense University Stadium.
Canada, playing in red, picked up where they left off vs Belgium one week earlier by playing a mixture of running rugby with lots os work from the forwards. The backrow showed once again why they are Canada´s biggest weapon by dominating the Europeans at the breakdown. The Canadian forwards all played very well however with the front row doing the business at scrum time and the second row controlling the lineouts. For this game vs Spain´s Lions, however, Canada had a much stronger team as their professional players all returned for international action. Ciaran Hearn was listed to play at wing but changed to flyhalf following injury problems to Ander Monro before the match.
Canada were on top shortly after kick off as captain and hooker Pat Riordan scored scored his third try of the tour after he dived over from the base of a ruck close to the Spanish try line. The second try was scored by the impressive Taylor Paris who aged only 18 again had a superb match for his country. Paris scored the try after Glasgow Warriors centre DTH Van der Merwe broke the line and offloaded to James Pritchard, who attracted the last defender to hand Paris a simple try. Canadian backrowers Aaron Carpenter and Chauncey O´Toole also scored first half tries for the visitors and with fullback Pritchard kicking a penalty and converting all four tries, Canada went into the break with a 31-12 lead. All of Spain´s points came from Lions scrumhalf Santiago Fernández, not to be confused with the Argentine centre with the same name, who slotted four penalties.
Canada scored the first points of the second half with van der Merwe continuing his incredible form in Scotland by scoring for his country. Both O’Toole and Paris scored a second try each and replacement backrower, Sean Michael Stephen also crossed for a try to give the Canadians an impressive win featuring four tries in each half. Pritchard had a similar time with the boot in the second half as in the first as he kicked one penalty and converted three of Canada´s four tries. Spain had a better second half, however, as they scored two tries firstly to Anthony Pradalie in the seventh monute after the interval and then to Pierre Belzunce on full time.
The win underlines Canada as a potential third placed side in Pool A of Rugby World Cup 2011 which also includes France, Japan, New Zealand and Tonga. The win in Madrid is a reminder of what the Canadians are capable of and further suggests that future tours should indeed look to involve different countries rather than simply the Six Nations and Japan.
Canada will face their toughest test of their European tour next saturday when they face European Nations Cup Champions, Georgia in Tblissi in what is to be the first ever match between the two countries in Georgia.
with thanks www.rugbycanada.ca and www.photoscrum.com