Planet Rugby

Scotland edge out Canada

14th June 2014 21:10

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James Pritchard lining up a kick for Canada

Almost: Canada go close

Scotland avoided a shock defeat to Canada as they held on for a 19-17 success against the home outfit at BMO Field in Toronto on Saturday.

A harsh red card for Canada flank Jebb Sinclair soured what was an absorbing Test, but it will be one that the hosts will feel they could have won.

For Scotland though, they have made it two wins from two on tour as they backed up last week's victory over the USA with this tight triumph.

Scotland's scrum was dominant early on and it led to the first points of the game being scored by scrum-half Greig Laidlaw with two minutes gone.

However, the visitors had to survive a scare soon after as Canada half-back Phil Mack was denied a score when Jeff Hassler was deemed to have knocked on when looking to collect the ball.

Scotland knew they were in a Test match from then on and following defending on their own line, the hosts then put their foot to the floor as former Glasgow back Taylor Paris' step and speed on halfway sparked a good passage in the 22. In fact it resulted in James Pritchard knocking over three points.

And things would improve further for the Canadians when a break from outside centre Ciaran Hearn saw him feed Ospreys wing Hassler for the game's opening try. Hassler, who made the RaboDirect PRO12 Dream Team this season, finished well but Pritchard's conversion wasn't of the same ilk.

Scotland did reply five minutes later though when second-row Grant Gilchrist went over for a converted try that pushed the Scots back into the lead.

Laidlaw would extend the scoreline to 13-8 two minutes before the break as again Canada were penalised at scrum time in what was an area of concern.

The turnaround saw Canada strike first and then second when full-back Pritchard added three points to his tally to put his side two points behind on 43 minutes and when Scotland offended eight minutes later, Canada were back in front via the boot of their number fifteen. Was a shock on the cards?

Scotland full-back Stuart Hogg had other ideas as he sent over a long-range penalty to make it 16-14 before Pritchard missed the chance to respond fifteen minutes from time when his attempt hit the upright. Harry Jones though had no such trouble when he lined up a successful penalty for 16-17.

It was now tit-for-tat in Toronto as Laidlaw pushed his side in front with an effort off the tee as territory became critical in the closing stages.

And then would come the moment of controversy on the 76th minute as with Canada 30 metres out, Sinclair was red carded after being adjudged to have led with the elbow whilst carrying into replacement Ruaridh Jackson. It was a card that stunned both the crowd and media alike and a disappointing way to end a physical but fair game.

The scorers:

For Canada:
Try: Hassler
Pen: Pritchard 3, Jones

For Scotland:
Try: Gilchrist
Con: Laidlaw
Pen: Laidlaw 2, Hogg

Canada: 15 James Pritchard, 14 Jeff Hassler, 13 Ciaran Hearn, 12 Nick Bevins, 11 Taylor Paris, 10 Harry Jones, 9 Phil Mack, 8 Tyler Ardron (c), 7 John Moonlight, 6 Jebb Sinclair, 5 Jamie Cudmore, 4 Tyler Hotson, 3 Jason Marshall, 2 Aaron Carpenter, 1 Hubert Buydens.
Replacements: 16 Ray Barkwill, 17 Andrew Tiedemann, 18 Jake Ilnicki, 19 Kyle Gilmour, 20 Jon Phelan, 21 Gordon McRorie, 22 Connor Braid, 23 DTH van der Merwe.

Scotland: 15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Sean Maitland, 13 Sean Lamont, 12 Peter Horne, 11 Tim Visser, 10 Finn Russell, 9 Greig Laidlaw (c), 8 Johnnie Beattie, 7 Kelly Brown, 6 Al Strokosch, 5 Grant Gilchrist, 4 Richie Gray, 3 Moray Low, 2 Scott Lawson, 1 Gordon Reid.
Replacements: 16 Kevin Bryce, 17 Kyle Traynor, 18 Geoff Cross, 19 Kieran Low, 20 Blair Cowan, 21 Grayson Hart, 22 Ruaridh Jackson, 23 Max Evans.

Referee: Mike Fraser (NZ)
Assistant referees: Stuart Berry (SA), Nick Ricono (USA)
TMO: Davey Ardrey (USA)

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