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Canada 15-17 Romania Rugby World Cup: Romania fight back to stun Canada

Published 06/10/2015

Canada's wing Jeff Hassler runs with the ball on his way to scoring a try during the Pool D match of the 2015 Rugby World Cup between Canada and Romania at Leicester City Stadium in Leicester, central England, on October 6, 2015. AFP PHOTO / BERTRAND LANGLOIS
Canada's wing Jeff Hassler runs with the ball on his way to scoring a try during the Pool D match of the 2015 Rugby World Cup between Canada and Romania at Leicester City Stadium in Leicester, central England, on October 6, 2015. AFP PHOTO / BERTRAND LANGLOIS
Romania's centre Florin Vlaicu kicks the ball during the Pool D match of the 2015 Rugby World Cup between Canada and Romania at Leicester City Stadium in Leicester, central England, on October 6, 2015. AFP PHOTO / BERTRAND LANGLOIS RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE, NO USE IN LIVE MATCH TRACKING SERVICES, TO BE USED AS NON-SEQUENTIAL STILLSBERTRAND LANGLOIS/AFP/Getty Images
Romania's centre Florin Vlaicu passes the ball during the Pool D match of the 2015 Rugby World Cup between Canada and Romania at Leicester City Stadium in Leicester, central England, on October 6, 2015. AFP PHOTO / BERTRAND LANGLOIS RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE, NO USE IN LIVE MATCH TRACKING SERVICES, TO BE USED AS NON-SEQUENTIAL STILLSBERTRAND LANGLOIS/AFP/Getty Images
LEICESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 06: Jeff Hassler of Canada is tackled by Catalin Fercu of Romania during the 2015 Rugby World Cup Pool D match between Canada and Romania at Leicester City Stadium on October 6, 2015 in Leicester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
LEICESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 06: Gordon McRorie of Canada kicks for goal during the 2015 Rugby World Cup Pool D match between Canada and Romania at Leicester City Stadium on October 6, 2015 in Leicester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
LEICESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 06: Jeff Hassler of Canada breaks through the Romania defence as he scores their second try during the 2015 Rugby World Cup Pool D match between Canada and Romania at Leicester City Stadium on October 6, 2015 in Leicester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Brett Beukeboom of Canada is tackled by Otar Turashvili of Romania during the 2015 Rugby World Cup Pool D match between Canada and Romania at Leicester City Stadium on October 6, 2015 in Leicester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Romania's back row forward Viorel Lucaci (3R) runs with the ball during the Pool D match of the 2015 Rugby World Cup between Canada and Romania at Leicester City Stadium in Leicester, central England, on October 6, 2015. AFP PHOTO / BERTRAND LANGLOIS RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE, NO USE IN LIVE MATCH TRACKING SERVICES, TO BE USED AS NON-SEQUENTIAL STILLSBERTRAND LANGLOIS/AFP/Getty Images
Canada's fly half Nathan Hirayama warms up for the Pool D match of the 2015 Rugby World Cup between Canada and Romania at Leicester City Stadium in Leicester, central England, on October 6, 2015. AFP PHOTO / BERTRAND LANGLOIS RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE, NO USE IN LIVE MATCH TRACKING SERVICES, TO BE USED AS NON-SEQUENTIAL STILLSBERTRAND LANGLOIS/AFP/Getty Images
LEICESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 06: Nick Blevins of Canada attempts to break through during the 2015 Rugby World Cup Pool D match between Canada and Romania at Leicester City Stadium on October 6, 2015 in Leicester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
LEICESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 06: Nick Blevins of Canada attempts to break through during the 2015 Rugby World Cup Pool D match between Canada and Romania at Leicester City Stadium on October 6, 2015 in Leicester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
LEICESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 06: Nick Blevins of Canada is tackled by Valentin Poparlan of Romania during the 2015 Rugby World Cup Pool D match between Canada and Romania at Leicester City Stadium on October 6, 2015 in Leicester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
LEICESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 06: Nick Blevins of Canada is tackled by Valentin Poparlan of Romania during the 2015 Rugby World Cup Pool D match between Canada and Romania at Leicester City Stadium on October 6, 2015 in Leicester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
LEICESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 06: Nathan Hirayama of Canada attempts to break away from Mihai Macovei of Romania during the 2015 Rugby World Cup Pool D match between Canada and Romania at Leicester City Stadium on October 6, 2015 in Leicester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
LEICESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 06: Nathan Hirayama of Canada goes between Mihai Macovei (L) and Michael Wiringi of Romania during the 2015 Rugby World Cup Pool D match between Canada and Romania at Leicester City Stadium on October 6, 2015 in Leicester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)
LEICESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 06: Gordon McRorie of Canada kicks a penalty during the 2015 Rugby World Cup Pool D match between Canada and Romania at Leicester City Stadium on October 6, 2015 in Leicester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
LEICESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 06: DTH Van Der Merwe of Canada feels the force of Florin Vlaicu of Romania (12) during the 2015 Rugby World Cup Pool D match between Canada and Romania at Leicester City Stadium on October 6, 2015 in Leicester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)
LEICESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 06: A rainbow shines over the stadium during the 2015 Rugby World Cup Pool D match between Canada and Romania at Leicester City Stadium on October 6, 2015 in Leicester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
LEICESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 06: Nathan Hirayama of Canada is tackled by Johannes van Heerden of Romania during the 2015 Rugby World Cup Pool D match between Canada and Romania at Leicester City Stadium on October 6, 2015 in Leicester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
LEICESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 06: The Canada team sing their national anthem prior to kickoff during the 2015 Rugby World Cup Pool D match between Canada and Romania at Leicester City Stadium on October 6, 2015 in Leicester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
LEICESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 06: Romania fans arrive at the stadium prior to kickoff during the 2015 Rugby World Cup Pool D match between Canada and Romania at Leicester City Stadium on October 6, 2015 in Leicester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)
LEICESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 06: A Canada fan arrives at the stadium prior to kickoff during the 2015 Rugby World Cup Pool D match between Canada and Romania at Leicester City Stadium on October 6, 2015 in Leicester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)
LEICESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 06: A Romania fan arrives at the stadium prior to kickoff during the 2015 Rugby World Cup Pool D match between Canada and Romania at Leicester City Stadium on October 6, 2015 in Leicester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)
A Canadian supporter shows their support ahead of the World Cup match at Leicester City Stadium, Leicester. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday October 6, 2015.
Canadian supporter show their support ahead of the World Cup match at Leicester City Stadium, Leicester. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday October 6, 2015. See PA story RUGBYU Canada. Photo credit should read: David Davies/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. Strictly no commercial use or association without RWCL permission. Still image use only. Use implies acceptance of Section 6 of RWC 2015 T&Cs at: http://bit.ly/1MPElTL Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further info.
Canada line up to sing their national anthem during the World Cup match at Leicester City Stadium, Leicester. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday October 6, 2015. See PA story RUGBYU Canada. Photo credit should read: David Davies/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. Strictly no commercial use or association without RWCL permission. Still image use only. Use implies acceptance of Section 6 of RWC 2015 T&Cs at: http://bit.ly/1MPElTL Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further info.
A Romanian supporter shows their support ahead of the World Cup match at Leicester City Stadium, Leicester. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday October 6, 2015. See PA story RUGBYU Canada. Photo credit should read: David Davies/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. Strictly no commercial use or association without RWCL permission. Still image use only. Use implies acceptance of Section 6 of RWC 2015 T&Cs at: http://bit.ly/1MPElTL Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further info.
A Canadian supporter shows their support ahead of the World Cup match at Leicester City Stadium, Leicester. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday October 6, 2015. See PA story RUGBYU Canada. Photo credit should read: David Davies/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. Strictly no commercial use or association without RWCL permission. Still image use only. Use implies acceptance of Section 6 of RWC 2015 T&Cs at: http://bit.ly/1MPElTL Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further info.

Romania pulled off a remarkable second-half comeback to beat Canada 17-15 and record their first win of the World Cup.

Canada looked on course for victory at Leicester City Stadium when they led 15-0 thanks to tries from DTH van der Merwe and Jeff Hassler, but Romania came roaring back, as two scores from captain Mihai Macovei reduced the gap to one before Florin Vlaicu kicked a match-winning penalty three minutes from time.

It means Canada have lost all four of their group matches for the first time at the World Cup while Romania can still finish third if they beat Italy on Sunday to secure automatic qualification for 2019.

Canada made a pulsating start and thought they had a try within two minutes when scrum-half Gordon McRorie darted round the blind side to dive over the line but referee Wayne Barnes brought play back, penalising Nick Blevins for a neck roll.

Romania cleared their lines and attacked almost immediately, with centre Paula Kinikinilau making a surging run down the left but his pass inside was cut out and Canada were spared.

Two penalties gave Canada the chance to break the deadlock and while McRorie missed his first attempt at the posts, he slotted the second after Romania's Valentin Poparlan strayed offside.

After a shaky start, Romania found a foothold but Florin Vlaicu missed a long-range penalty before full-back Catalin Fercu was shown a yellow card in the 20th minute for what appeared a fairly innocuous collision with Blevins in the air.

Down to 14, Romania resisted for a while but with 33 minutes played, Canada finally struck as an excellent pick-up and offload from McRorie began the break and before Romania could reorganise, play spread left and Van der Merwe cruised over for his sixth try in five matches.

McRorie missed the kick from out wide and he was not alone in struggling from the tee, as Vlaicu fell short with another long-range penalty shortly before half-time.

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It proved costly as less than four minutes after the restart, Hassler bulldozed his way past three Romanian defenders to slide over for his fourth international try and Nathan Hirayama, taking over kicking duties, added the extras to give Canada a 15-0 lead.

Romania looked down and out but enjoyed their best spell after the try and in the 53rd minute managed a score of their own as a well-executed line-out set up a drive over the line, with captain Macovei touching down.

Vlaicu converted to reduce the gap to eight before Canada's Hirayama missed a penalty and Romania set about piling the pressure on their opponents' line again.

Valentin Ursache thought he was in when he scooped up a loose ball, but referee Barnes brought play back for a knock-on, and then James Pritchard went close after charging down Hirayama's kick, but he too failed to gather cleanly.

Canada's task grew tougher when Jebb Sinclair was sin-binned for coming in the side of a ruck and with a man less, their resistance finally crumbled, as Macovei leapt over to set up a dramatic finish.

Vlaicu converted to make it 15-14 and, with just three minutes remaining, another scrum penalty gave Vlaicu the chance to put his side ahead.

The inside centre held his nerve, drilling the ball home from 40 yards, prompting an explosion of yellow in the crowd and the loudest roar of the match.

There was no time left for a dejected Canada to respond as Romanian players poured onto the pitch at full-time to celebrate a superb victory.

Online Editors

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