Canada coach Kieran Crowley says his team's 23-all draw with Japan was an “anti-climax” and wants his team to bury the result.
Canada coach Kieran Crowley says his team's 23-all draw with Japan in Napier was an “anti-climax” and wants his team to bury the result.
Ander Monro was ultimately the villain turned hero for Canada, missing three kicks before nailing a 79th-minute penalty to draw the scores level and prolong Japan's winless streak that stretches back 20 years.
“I felt we played some pretty good rugby in the first half but we kept making some handling errors that put pressure back on ourselves,” said Crowley, a former All Blacks full-back and ex-New Zealand selector.
“You can't afford to score points and then make a mistake which puts them straight back into it.
“The second half was a much better performance, particularly in the last 10 minutes.
“It wasn't until the last 10 minutes that we started to move the ball outside those inside channels and we started to create a bit of go forward.”
But Crowley was ultimately phlegmatic about the result.
“We'd rather take two points than nothing at all.”
The draw left Canada – who beat Tonga 25-20 in their opener, but then went down 46-19 to France – sitting third in the Pool behind the unbeaten All Blacks and France.
“Tonga now have to get two points against France,” he said.
“That's something that Canada has never done before so we will be watching that France game very closely.”
Canadian eyes will now turn to their match against New Zealand in Wellington on Sunday, but Crowley said a couple of rounds of drinks were in order first.
“We're not even worried about that game yet,” he said of the All Blacks match.
“At this level when you get those tier one nations there are no weaknesses, you've just got to play your own game.
“The boys have just had a big hard Test match against Japan and they've come out of it with a draw which is great.
“We need to come down off the emotional high, have a couple of drinks and then worry about New Zealand tomorrow or the next day.
“It's massively difficult, not only physically but mentally. When I was playing it used to take me from a Saturday through to Wednesday to come back down from the emotional side of things because you put so much in.”
Canada captain Pat Riordan likened the Japan draw to an obtuse provincial saying.
“The tie is a bit like kissing your cousin,” the bearded hooker said. “As we say at home, 'It's great to kiss someone, but it is your cousin'.
“Both teams probably felt like they could have won it and were therefore a little disappointed they didn't win it.
“The players are a bit glum. A couple of times we thought we could have pulled away, just as Japan did, I'm sure.”