Canada was very close to collecting a Tier One scalp on Friday evening in Toronto as the North Americans took a 13-9 half time lead and it took a struggling Canadian scrum for Italy to take the lead and close out the match. Such was the performance from the Canadians that the fan of the match award went to Kris Burton, Italy´ flyhalf. Burton had a poor match for an international from a Tier One nation. He kicked 20 points but in general play could not get the backs going at all and was not as effective as his opposite, Matt Evans.
Italy´ win came with one try, scored from an advancing maul Canada also managed one try, a beauty from a player with a massive future, Conor Trainor. While Italy stayed calm and were able to add points throughout the secondhalf, Canada only scored three points after the interval. Losing by 9 points with six minutes remaining Canada took the questionable option of kicking for goal. It was a tough chance but James Pritchards attempt was wide. Canada really needed to kick for the corner and mount an attack from the lineout. Opportunities were few and far between due to Italy´s utter domination of the scrum which proved decisive as Canada were unable to secure ball.
The stadium was not full but was impressive. Future fixtures of this kind will only continue to promote the sport in Canada. Italy now travel to Houston, Texas to take on the United States of America next Saturday while Canada will host Georgia in Vancouver.