457. From The Couch: Match #29

Canada 15 – 17 Romania

It rained. It rained! Not the whole match, but enough to make you remark it.

It has been such lovely conditions for all matches so far, and today it rained. A reminder that the weather could be a real factor as we move further into the tournament. (Although the quarter-finals played at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff will be played under a closed roof, come rain or shine.)

A game of, if not quite two halves, then of 50 and 30.

Canada dominated the first half, and stretched their lead to 15-nil just after half time with their second converted try.

And then they stopped.

In the 50th minute the Romanian fullback made an incisive run from his own 22, which woke up the rest of the team. It wasn’t always pretty, but from that point on they detonated possession and territory.

Two converted tries by their Number 8 captain put them in range and, with the Canadian 6 in the bin, a dominant scrum attack earned a penalty in kicking range.

So that is the Canadians completed for the tournament, and the only conclusion is that they have been a disappointment. While other countries have gone ahead, they have stood still.

Romania have one more game, against Italy, which will decide the third-place in the pool, and with it automatic qualification for Japan 2019. They don’t look the goods on this performance – Georgia is stronger and smarter – but they’ll give the Azurri a run for their euro.



About Ned Davy

By hokey, the big fella’s tipped into his 50s. A rangy loose forward in his prime, good with the ball in hand, but rarely up with the play any more.
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