Planet Rugby

Canada get the better of Tonga

14th September 2011 05:54

Share:

tonga v canada

Close tussle: Canada scrape home

Canada opened their World Cup account with a deserved 25-20 win over crowd favourites Tonga in Whangarei on Wednesday.

The Canucks outscored Tonga three tries to two in a cracking game, and were full value for their win after leading 10-7 at half-time.

The islanders bounced back in the second half though and looked on course for their first victory after losing to New Zealand in last Friday's opening World Cup match. Tonga centre Siale Piutau picked up his second try while Kurt Morath chipped away at the lead.

However, Canada had other ideas and stormed back in front thanks to tries from number eight Aaron Carpenter and wing Phil Mackenzie.

With just a converted try to win the match, Tonga pushed hard until the final whistle but were unable to breach Canada's rock-solid defence.

The defeat now leaves the Tongans with a mountain to climb in Pool A, after suffering back-to-back defeats in the tournament.

Despite not touching the ball during an early onslaught from the Tongans, it was Canada who moved into an early lead after first Chauncey O'Toole and then DTH Van Der Merwe cut through the red sea of defence, before lock Jebb Sinclair applied the finish.

Canada full-back James Pritchard converted and Canada were in a surprise 7-0 lead.

Tonga full-back Kurt Morath had a chance to cut the deficit to just one point, but missed two straightforward efforts for the Pacific islanders - with frustrating errors a common theme in their play.

Tonga had the territory and possession to drive Canada back but too often their handling let them down. And Canada made them pay as Pritchard extended their lead to 10-0 after 26 minutes.

Tonga were finally rewarded on the stroke of half-time as centre Siale Piutau was released in space on the right and scythed through two defenders to score. Morath added the conversion to cut Canada's lead to 10-7 at the break.

The game burst into life in the second half as the teams swapped penalties and then Piutau ran onto a short pass and accelerated through Canada's defence on 53 minutes.

Canada were on the ropes but they hit back when substitute centre Conor Trainor muscled forward and number eight Carpenter capitalised by barrelling through a sea of bodies for a try on 67 minutes.

Pritchard missed the conversion, leaving them two points short, but left wing MacKenzie crossed for the match-winner as the Maple Leafs regained the decisive lead 25-20 with just six minutes to go.

Man of the match: Tough one. For Tonga, a brace from Siale Piutau wasn't enough to see his side through. And for Canada, Ander Monro and Phil Mackenzie shone in the backs while Aaron Carpenter stood out in the forwards. But not as tall as flank Adam Kleeberger who got through a mountain of work for his team in a tireless performance.

Moment of the match: Another hard one. But it has to be Phil Mackenzie's match-winner.

Villain of the match: No malice to report.

The scorers:

For Tonga:
Tries: Piutau 2
Cons: Morath 2
Pens: Morath 2

For Canada:
Tries: Sinclair, Carpenter, Mackenzie
Cons: Pritchard 2
Pens: Pritchard 2

Tonga: 15 Kurt Morath, 14 Fetu'u Vainikolo, 13 Siale Piutau, 12 Alipate Fatafehi, 11 William Helu, 10 Taniela Moa, 9 Thomas Palu, 8 Samiu Vahafolau, 7 Sione Vaiomounga, 6 Finau Maka (c), 5 Tukulua Lokotui, 4 Sione Timani, 3 Kisi Pulu, 2 Ephraim Taukafa, 1 Alisona Taumalolo.
Replacements: 16 Aloisio Ma'asi, 17 Soane Tonga'uiha, 18 Halani Aulika, 19 Viliami Ma'afu, 20 Sione Kalamafoni, 21 Viliame Iongi, 22 Alaska Taufa.

Canada: 15 James Pritchard, 14 Ciaran Hearn, 13 DTH Van Der Merwe, 12 Ryan Smith, 11 Phil Mackenzie, 10 Ander Monro, 9 Ed Fairhurst, 8 Aaron Carpenter, 7 Chauncey O'Toole, 6 Adam Kleeberger, 5 Jamie Cudmore, 4 Jebb Sinclair, 3 Jason Marshall, 2 Pat Riordan (capt), 1 Hubert Buydens.
Replacements: 16 Ryan Hamilton, 17 Scott Franklin, 18 Tyler Hotson, 19 Nanyak Dala, 20 Conor Trainor, 21 Sean White, 22 Nathan Hirayama.

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Heineken Cup
Saturday , April 26
Saracens vs Clermont Auvergne15:40
More Heineken Cup fixtures
RaboDirect PRO12
Sunday , April 20
Newport Gwent D'gons vs OspreysNewport Gwent D
Saturday , April 26
Glasgow vs Edinburgh19:05
More RaboDirect PRO12 fixtures
Amlin Challenge Cup
Friday , April 25
Northampton vs Harlequins20:00
More Amlin Challenge Cup fixtures
Super Rugby
Friday , April 25
Blues vs Waratahs17:35
Brumbies vs Chiefs17:40
Sharks vs Highlanders19:10
Saturday , April 26
Hurricanes vs Reds19:35
Western Force vs Bulls17:40
Cheetahs vs Stormers17:05
More Super Rugby fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , April 20
Northampton 36 - 21 London IrishNorthampton vs London Irish Report
Newcastle 18 - 23 SaracensNewcastle vs Saracens Report
More Aviva Premiership results
RaboDirect PRO12
Cardiff Blues 17 - 13 ScarletsCardiff Blues vs Scarlets Report
More RaboDirect PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , April 19
Bath 32 - 20 WorcesterBath vs Worcester Report
Exeter 12 - 55 SaleExeter vs Sale Report
Wasps 38 - 30 GloucesterWasps vs Gloucester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
RaboDirect PRO12
Zebre 26 - 13 EdinburghZebre vs Edinburgh Report
Connacht 23 - 32 MunsterConnacht vs Munster Report
More RaboDirect PRO12 results
Top 14
Oyonnax 19 - 19 ToulouseOyonnax vs Toulouse Report
Stade Francais 37 - 23 Bordeaux-Begles
Biarritz 19 - 13 Brive
Racing Metro Paris 22 - 6 Clermont AuvergneRacing Metro Paris vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Perpignan 31 - 46 ToulonPerpignan vs Toulon Report
Grenoble 21 - 21 Bayonne
More Top 14 results
Super Rugby
Chiefs 17 - 18 CrusadersChiefs vs Crusaders Report
Waratahs 19 - 12 BullsWaratahs vs Bulls Report
Stormers 18 - 3 LionsStormers vs Lions Report
Sharks 19 - 8 CheetahsSharks vs Cheetahs Report
More Super Rugby results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , April 18
Harlequins 24 - 20 LeicesterHarlequins vs Leicester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
RaboDirect PRO12
Leinster 62 - 7 Benetton TrevisoLeinster vs Benetton Treviso Report
Glasgow 27 - 9 UlsterGlasgow vs Ulster Report
More RaboDirect PRO12 results
Top 14
Castres 22 - 15 MontpellierCastres vs Montpellier Report
More Top 14 results
Super Rugby
Hurricanes 39 - 20 BluesHurricanes vs Blues Report
Melbourne Rebels 22 - 16 Western Force
More Super Rugby results
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , April 13
Saracens 28 - 24 NorthamptonSaracens vs Northampton Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens2080
2Northampton2071
3Bath2064
4Leicester Tigers2064
5Harlequins2058