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Sunday 11 December 2016

Romania stage comeback to rock Canada

Romania's Madalin Lemnaru (R) and Vali Calafeteanu celebrate winning the game
Romania's Madalin Lemnaru (R) and Vali Calafeteanu celebrate winning the game

ROMANIA surged back from 15-0 down to beat Canada 17-15 in a dramatic Rugby World Cup Pool D match yesterday.

Canada looked poised to secure their first win of the tournament when DTH Van Der Merwe scored a try for the fourth successive World Cup match and his side held a deserved 8-0 half-time lead, the lowest-scoring half of the tournament to date.

Fellow winger Jeff Hassler claimed Canada's second try with a charging run through three defenders to make it 15-0 but Romania turned the game round as they finally got their big forwards involved and flanker Mihai Macovei forced his way over for two tries.

Another scrum penalty three minutes from time opened the way for Florin Vlaicu to kick his team to a famous victory.

"I don't think it was ever in doubt really, was it?" said Romania's coach, Welshman Lynn Howells, with a smile.

"I never give up. We said if we could stay within 14 points going into the last 20 minutes we could start playing the sort of rugby we wanted.

"The disappointing thing was that we played so poorly in the first half, that was really unacceptable."

Canada have one final match against Italy in Exeter on Sunday and could still finish third in the group with a victory to qualify for the 2019 World Cup.

Meanwhile, Fiji outclassed Uruguay 47-15 when outscoring their opponents seven tries to two in an at times sparky encounter.

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