Saturday, August 6, 2011

Canada - We Want to finish third or better in the Group

In qualifying for Rugby World Cup 2011 Canada got the desired draw of a place in Pool A alongside France, Japan, Tonga and hosts, New Zealand. Just qualifying put Canada up there with the best teams as it meant they had qualified for every Rugby World Cup, something that only a select group can say they have done. Giant killers, Samoa, for instance did not participate in Rugby World Cup 1987 and 2007 Quarter Finalists, Fiji, did not participate in 1995. Canada´s qualification for New Zealand 2007 was not easy as the Canadians had to come back after losing the first of two qualifying matches, 12-6 to the USA in Charleston, South Carolina. The loss was quickly forgotten, however, as the USA failed to play nearly as good in the second match which took place in Edmonton, Alberta. The USA had a player red carded with virtually ended the Eagles chances of success and Canada used the one man advantage perfectly in winning the match 41-18

The USA were successful in securing qualification latter on following defeating Uruguay in two matches to book a place in Pool C alongside Australia, Ireland, Italy and debutants, Russia. The USA were thus placed in what was deemed to be a tougher group as achieving two wins is far tougher, let alone three. Canada were happy in having qualified for Pool A as it gives them a realistica chance of finishing third and thus achieving two goals of firstly automatic qualification for Rugby World Cup 2015 and secondly increased IRB funding for being amongst the top twelve sides in the tournament. In a recent segment which featured on the IRB´s weekly rugby broadcast, Total Rugby those involved with Canadian rugby were indeed pointing this out. Canadian international backrower, Aaron Carpenter, talks of France as being unpredictable in that if France have an off day Canada can win the match. Despite both Japan and Tonga being tough opponents, Carpender indicates Canada´s ambitions. Coach Kieran Crowley, who played against Canada in the Quarter Finals of Rugby World Cup 1991, underlines whats in it for Canada if the team can finish third in the Pool. The funding which Canada would recieve could be massive and should the Canadians finish third they would certainly be guaranteeing four years of improvements and taking a massive step towards Canada reaching the Rugby World Cup Quarter Finals stage again.

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