Saturday, August 24, 2013

Canada qualify for Rugby World Cup 2015

Photo: Rugby Canada
The top North American side in world rugby was confirmed as being Canada as the national mens Canadian rugby team completed a 13-11 victory over the USA in Toronto this afternoon. Canada´s name can now be confirmed in Pool D -of England 2015 - a pool featuring four European nations. Canada is the first team to qualify and t joins the pre-qualified nations of France, Ireland, Italy and a yet to be confirmed nation from the European Nations Championship, likey Romania.

The match was far from memorable as the quality of rugby was far from being the best of either team. Error after error contribuetd to the match being a stop-start event and the difference between the sdes was goalkicking. The USA will regret not having a kicker of note as Saracens´ Chris Wyles had the opportunity to win the match for the USA Eagles only to kick the ball wide. He missed a number of kicks as it was made clear that he is not a specialist. 

Had Wyles been able to land more kicks it would not have made a difference as Canada would have qualified on aggregate regardless. Canada´s 18 point advantage heading into the match meant the USA needed a big win if it were to seal its place as Americas 1 in Rugby World Cup 2015. The loss, is far from being elimination though as the USA will now face Uruguay home and away in the spring with either the USA or Uruguay to qualify as Americas 2 for England 2015. Americas 2 will face Samoa, Scotland, South Africa and Asia 1 (Japan) in an, arguably, easier pool than that of Pool D. 

Should Canada play to a similar standard as that of today in Toronto then it stands little to no chance of upsetting one of the three Six Nations teams in Pool D. Similarly, there will now be concerns raised over the USA´s chances against Uruguay. Should Uruguay be on its game and the Eagles play to a standard equal or lower than that of this afternoon then Los Teros would likely come out on top. Canada scored two tries to one with James Pritcahrd supporting centre Ciaran Hearn to score in the right corner in the first half while Jason Marshall scored in the second. Both players are second division professionals in Europe. The games other trty was scored by Taku Ngwenya, a Top 14 player who has long been a standout for Biarritz. It gave the USA a 5-0 lead after thirteen minutes but Wyles was unable to land the conversion. 

Curiously upon being confirmed as winners of the match and qualifiers for England 2015 the comentators announced Canada as the first qualifier for England & Wales 2015. The match was streamed live by the IRB with its broadcasters underlining the confussion of whether it is infact England 2015 or a joined venture. Argentina 2023 would be a solo effort.

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