Canada close in on World Cup
QUALIFIERS: Canada is one point away from a place at next year’s World Cup after beating Germany 29-10 in a round-robin repechage tournament on Saturday.
A losing bonus point against Hong Kong in the final match of the tournament next weekend would be enough for the Canucks to claim a spot at the showpiece event in Japan.
“We can be happy, we had the bonus-point win, we have put ourselves in an awesome position to advance, but there is still one more game left,” captain Phil Mack said.
Despite a meagre three-point lead at half-time, a trio of second-half tries helped Kingsley Jones’ outfit close in on qualification.
“To go in half-time 7-10 down, we were pleased, we needed a good start in the second half but we didn’t get it,” Germany coach Mike Ford said.
“We tried our very best today, Canada was the better side,” Ford added.
Earlier in the day, Hong Kong comprehensively beat Kenya 42-17 but need to beat Canada on Friday by more than seven points and prevent them from scoring four or more tries to ensure their first-ever appearance at the tournament.
Hong Kong, who lost their opening match of the campaign to Germany, came back from 14-0 down after 23 minutes to run in six tries, two of them from back row forward Thomas Lamboley.
“That was good, we needed to bounce back after the loss to Germany,” said Lamboley, whose brother Gregory is a France international.
“We got the bonus point and now we can look forward to a ‘final’ against Canada.”
Four teams are involved in the competition in Marseille with the winner going through to face New Zealand, South Africa, Italy and Namibia in the group stage of the World Cup.
The defeats for Kenya and Germany mean that they now cannot qualify for the tournament in Japan.