A John Moonlight try made the difference as Canada beat the United States 16-9 on Saturday in the Pacific Nations Cup.
A John Moonlight try made the difference as Canada beat the United States 16-9 in Edmonton on Saturday in the Pacific Nations Cup.
With strong winds and heavy rain that made ball handling difficult, the hosts took charge in the first half thanks to an early penalty from Connor Braid.
Before the midway point of the first half, an errant pass from a US line-out just meters from their own line was grabbed by Moonlight, who only had to take a few steps before diving over the line for what proved to be the only try of the match. Braid's conversion extended Canada's lead to 10-0.
United States full-back Adam Siddal, who was on debut, opened the scoring for his side with a three-opointer to see the Eagles trail 10-3 at the break.
Coming into the second half, a hungry United States outfit shifted the momentum and they got reward for their efforts with another Siddal penalty in the 50th minute.
With a strong defence and a confident attack building, the United States seemed destined to score their first try of the contest, but settled for another Sidall penalty that narrowed the gap to 10-9.
However, Braid added two more penalty goals within minutes of each other to rebuild Canada's advantage and seal the victory.
“We had a couple of line breaks go against us, but overall I think we were pretty comfortable in defence and held firm,” Canada defence coach Clive Griffiths told the IRB website.
“A few of the boys hadn't played for quite a while but we stuck to our guns and we're delighted to get the win and to prevent them from scoring.
“Even though we won, the last two times we played them we conceded five or six tries which we weren't happy about. So to do this was massive.”