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Preview: Romania v Canada

16th November 2013 09:28

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Phil Mack Canada scrum half

Canada scrum-half: Phil Mack

Injury-struck Canada face a tough task as they travel to Bucharest to face an in-form Romanian side at Stadionul National Arcul De Triumf on Saturday.

Romania have not lost a Test match in 2013, winning eight out of nine and drawing with Georgia in March.

Last weekend, Romania, ranked 17th the World, upset Tonga, 13th ranked, 19-18 at this venue.

Canada dropped one position in world ranking from 14th to 15th after last Saturday's loss to Georgia.

Romania and Canada have met just three times in the past with Romania winning one and Canada two. Saturday's match is only the second time these two sides have met in Romania and the first time they have met at the Stadionul National de Rugby Arcul de Triumf. Romania won the previous game 22-20 in 2005 at the Stadionul Steaua.

Romania's last defeat was in their final game of 2012 when they lost 34-3 to the USA in Bucharest. They finished second in the European Nations Cup to Georgia on points difference and won the recent four-team IRB Nations Cup that also featured Russia, Argentina Jaguars and Emerging Italy.

Canada have won five out of eight matches so far in 2013. Their 19-15 defeat to Georgia last week comes after two consecutive wins against the USA in August (13-11 and 27-9).

Canada have won just four times on the road in Europe. They beat Belgium 43-12 and Spain 60-22, both in 2010. They have also won twice away against Portugal: 21-13 in 2008 and 23-20 in 2010.

If Romania beat Canada on Saturday it will be their fifth consecutive win. The last time Romania won five games in a row was in 2010. Romania's record of most consecutive wins is ten, which they achieved between 1982 and 1983.

Mihaita lazar wins his 30th Test cap for Romania on Saturday while Florin Ionita will make his Test debut on the wing

Canada have won 22 out of 45 matches played under Kieran Crowley, giving him a success rate of just under 49 percent. Djustice Sears-Duru will make his Test debut for Canada if he comes off the bench on Saturday.

Romania field a more experienced starting XV compared to Canada with a total of 490 caps compared to Canada's total of 326. Both sides field starting line-ups of an average age of 27.

"We're expecting a similar style to Georgia - they have a strong scrum and driving game and they kick a lot from there own territory," Crowley told the Canada rugby website.

"They looked impressive against Tonga. We've worked on the vision and communication to move the ball to space - we created a lot last week but didn't get the ball to the right area.

Previous results:

2005: Romania won 22-20 in Bucharest
1995: Canada won 43-3 in Port Elizabeth
1991: Canada won 19-11 in Toulouse

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 Burce 7, Mihai Macovei (c), 6 Viorel Lucaci, 5 Marius Sirbe, 4 Alin Coste, 3 Paulica Ion, 2 Otar Turashvili, 1 Mihai 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, 7 Nanyak Dala, 6 Jebb Sinclair, 5 Brett Beukeboom, 4 Tyler Hotson, 3 Andrew Tiedemann, 2 Benoit Piffero, 1 Hubert Buydens.
Replacements: 16 Ryan March, 17 Djustice SearsDuru, 18 Jake Ilnicki, 19 Adam Kleeberger, 20 Jon Phelan, 21 Jamie Mackenzie, 22 James Pritchard, 23 Conor Trainor,

Date: Saturday, November 16
Venue: Stadionul National Arcul De Triumf, Bucharest, Romania
Kick-off: 16:30 local time (09:30 ET/06:30am PT)
Referee: Greg Garner (England)
Assistant referees: Marius Mitrea (Italy), Giuseppe Vivarini (Italy)

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