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Last-gasp penalty sinks Canada

18th November 2013 08:45

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Jeff Hassler Canada

Speedster: Jeff Hassler

A last-minute penalty from centre Florin Vlaicu saw Romania overcome touring Canada 21-20 in dramatic fashion Bucharest on Saturday.

The Maple Leaves defended well early on, and indeed were dynamic and powerful when given the chance to attack, but fell behind to two Vlaicu penalties in the opening fifteen minutes to trail 6-0.

Canada responded well, however, with sustained pressure on the Romanian line yielding a try under the posts for captain Tyler Ardron, with the conversion putting the visitors into the lead for the first time.

A brace of three-pointers from Vlaicu saw the home side regain the ascendancy and a 12-7 lead going into the break.

The early portion of the second-half belonged to the transatlantic team, and Harry Jones was able to slot a penalty to cut the gap to two points.

Jones himself then bagged a try less than ten minutes later, and slotted the conversion to give the Canadians a 17-12 lead.

But the Maple Leaves' indiscipline was to prove costly, as they fell behind once more to another duo of Vlaicu penalties.

Substitute James Pritchard managed to restore a slender two-point advantage for the visitors, but there was to be a twist in the tale.

With time dead, Vlaicu stepped up once more to nail his sixth penalty, and a more-boosting win for the hosts.

Scorers:

For Romania:
Penalties: Vlaicu 6

For Canada:
Tries: Ardron, Jones
Conversions: Jones 2
Penalties: Jones 2

The teams:

Romania: 15 Catalin Fercu, 14 Ionut Dumitru, 13 Csaba Gal, 12 Florin Vlaicu, 11 Florin Ionita, 10 Valentin Calafeteanu, 9 Florin Surugiu, 8 Sandu Stelian Burcea, 7 Mihai Macovei (c), 6 Viorel Lucaci, 5 Marius Sirbe, 4 Alin Coste, 3 Paulica Ion, 2 Otar Turashvili, 1 Mihaita Lazar
Replacements: 16 Andrei Radoi, 17 Constantin Pristavita, 18 Horatiu Pungea, 19 Valentin Poparlan, 20 Dorin Lazar, 21 Catalin Robert Dascalu, 22 Cristian Dinis, 23 Gabriel Conache

Canada: 15 Matt Evans, 14 Jeff Hassler, 13 Ciaran Hearn, 12 Nick Blevins, 11 Phil MacKenzie, 10 Harry Jones, 9 Phil Mack, 8 Tyler Ardron (c), 7 Nanyak Dala, 6 Jeff Sinclair, 5 Brett Beukeboom, 4 Tyler Hotson, 3 Andrew Tiedemann, 2 Benoit Piffero, 1 Hubert Buydens
Replacements: 16 Ryan March, 17 Djustice Sears-Duru, 18 Jake Ilnichi, 19 Adam Kleeberger, 20 Jon Phelan, 21 Jamie Mackenzie, 22 James Pritchard, 23 Conor Trainor

Referee: Greg Garner
Assistant referees: Marius Mitrea, Giuseppe Vivarini (both Italy)

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