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Rugby World Cup: Florin Vlaicu penalty seals stirring Romania revival

By Tom Allnutt

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.

Two converted 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.

Romania looked down and out but got a score in the 53rd minute as a well-executed line-out set up a drive over the line, with captain Macovei touching down.

Vlaicu converted before Canada's Jebb Sinclair was sin-binned for coming in the side of a ruck and with a man less, their resistance crumbled, as Macovei leapt over.

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 to get the victory.

CANADA 15

ROMANIA17

Canada: Tries: van der Merwe, Hassler. Cons: Hirayama. Pens: McRorie.

Canada: Jones, Hassler, Hearn, Blevins, van der Merwe, Hirayama, McRorie, Buydens, Barkwill, Wooldridge, Beukeboom, Cudmore, Sinclair, Moonlight, Carpenter. Replacements: Pritchard for Jones (74), Trainor for Blevins (49), Mack for McRorie (49), Sears-Duru for Buydens (45), Ilnicki for Wooldridge (67), Dala for Moonlight (63). Not Used: Piffero, Gilmour. Sin Bin: Sinclair (73).

Romania: Tries: Macovei 2. Cons: Vlaicu 2. Pens: Vlaicu.

Romania: Fercu, Lemnaru, Kinikinilau, Vlaicu, Botezatu, Wiringi, Surugiu, Lazar, Turashvili, Ion, Popirlan, van Heerden, V. Ursache, Lucaci, Macovei. Replacements: Gal for Wiringi (51), Calafeteanu for Surugiu (22), Tarus for Lazar (74), Radoi for Turashvili (65), A. Ursache for Ion (45), Carpo for Lucaci (77). Not Used: Burcea, Apostol.

Sin Bin: Fercu (20).

Att: 27,153

Ref: Wayne Barnes (RFU).

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