Canada players at the end of the Rugby World Cup Pool D match between France and Canada at stadium:mk

Canada players at the end of the Rugby World Cup Pool D match between France and Canada at stadium:mk

Canada bids RWC farewell with regrets over missed chances

As Canada bids RWC farewell, coach Crowley regrets missed chances and lack of game management

By Jerome Pugmire, The Associated Press

LEICESTER, England – When Canada’s players eventually fly home from the Rugby World Cup after their last match against Romania, it will be with fond memories of the attacking rugby they played and regrets over the opportunities they failed to take.

On the eve of the Pool D encounter, Canada coach Kieran Crowley reflected on the tournament and one match stood out: the 23-18 loss to Italy, where the Canadians failed to capitalize on a 10-0 lead.

“We watched that video and probably cried all the way through it,” Crowley said Monday. “We had overlaps and chances to score. We didn’t have the game sense to do it.”

Canada played some thrilling rugby against France last week, getting behind the defence and scoring two quick tries in the first half. Canada got to within six points of France after the restart, but then faded, losing 41-18. After the 50-7 defeat to Ireland in their opening match, Crowley underlined how Ireland had punished his team with its superior game management.

But Canada is not to blame for that.

In the four years between the 2011 and 2015 World Cups, Canada played three Tier One teams. In the first 12 days of this tournament, the Canadians played three, exposing their limitations as well as increasing their fatigue.

“We need to play Tier 1 countries, our decision makers (on the field) need to be at a club where they’re given decision-making games. We’ve made a lot of progress at skill level but we haven’t got over the line lately to get wins,” Crowley said. “There’s some mini-rugby starting up in Canada, but there is progress being made elsewhere as well. Romania have seven professional teams in Bucharest and that’s not something we can compete with.”

Veteran lock Jamie Cudmore, who captains Canada in the absence of the injured Tyler Ardron, remembers how he came into rugby late and thinks the game must be developed more at grassroots level in Canada.

“I started quite late, 16 or 17 years old. If you get to the international stage at 23 or 24 and been only playing five or six years that’s not enough,” said Cudmore, a regular for Clermont in France’s elite Top 14 league. “We need guys in our decision-making areas to be playing high-level competition week in, week out, and then we’ll start knocking over some of the big boys.”

Cudmore will play his 14th World Cup match, moving level with Canada record-holder Rod Snow.

Joking about his age, Cudmore says he’s so old “I’ve coached a few of the guys in the squad and that dates me a little bit.” Still, he’s in no hurry to walk away from international rugby.”

Lynn Howells’ Romania lineup should be the fresher side at Leicester’s City Stadium.

It has played only twice so far, losing 38-11 to France and 44-10 to Ireland, and had four days longer to prepare this match.

Romania is aiming to win its last two matches, this one and the last one against Italy, to take third spot and secure an automatic place for the 2019 World Cup.

“It’s time to produce a result and for the players to come out and play their best rugby,” coach Howells said. “But it’s a pretty nervous camp at the moment, they just want to go out there and play.”

He already has a pretty good idea how Canada will approach the game: with plenty of running and width.

“They don’t want the scrum because that’s what they try and stay away from,” he said. “We’re expecting more of a loose game.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Members of the Victoria Police Department, some of whom are shown here observing a moment of silence for victims of a mass shooting in Nova Scotia, experience stress and potential trauma more than most other workers, says Chief Const. Del Manak. While the number of shifts lost at VicPD are soaring, he sees it as a sign people are taking their own health and wellness seriously. (Black Press Media file photo)
Skyrocketing number of lost shifts at Victoria police has a positive side, chief says

Chief Const. Del Manak says officers, staff being more proactive looking after their mental health

A Seed and Stone rendering for White Rock, B.C. (Seed and Stone rendering)
Songhees Nation to open two Victoria cannabis stores spring 2021

Seed and Stone stores will open on Gordon Street and in the Bay Centre

A water taxi at Victoria’s Fisherman’s Wharf. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria man arrested after stealing water taxi, racing it up Gorge Waterway

Man is facing recommended charges of theft over $5,000

Inmates at Metchosin’s William Head Institution are being given COVID-19 vaccines as part of the first phase. Around 600 inmates will be vaccinated in the coming days. (Black Press Media file photo)
William Head inmates in Metchosin receive their first doses of COVID vaccine

Priority set for older inmates and those with underlying medical conditions

Muddy Valley Farm in rural Saanich is calling for witnesses after its large metal gate was stolen overnight on Monday, Jan. 18. (Muddy Valley Farm/Facebook)
Rural Saanich farm reports large metal gate stolen

Muddy Valley Farm gate stolen overnight by ‘at least two people’

Syringe is prepared with one of B.C.’s first vials of Pfizer vaccine to prevent COVID-19, Victoria, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 caseload stays steady with 465 more Tuesday

No new outbreaks in health care facilities, 12 more deaths

Chilliwack ER doctor Marc Greidanus is featured in a video, published Jan. 18, 2021, where he demonstrates and describes effectiveness of various styles of masks. (Youtube)
VIDEO: Emergency room doctor runs through pros and cons of various masks

‘We’ve been asked to wear a mask and it’s not that hard,’ Greidanus says.

(Pixabay photo)
VIDEO: Tip to Metro Vancouver transit police helps woman 4,000 km away in Ohio

Sgt. Clint Hampton says transit police were alerted to a YouTube video of the woman in mental distress

A woman types on her laptop in Miami in a Monday, Dec. 12, 2016, photo illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Wilfredo Lee
British Columbia government lax on cybersecurity practices, auditor reports

The audit did not highlight a specific threat, but it found breaches in cybersecurity are increasing globally

A mattress on fire gutted the second floor hallway at Town Park Apartments C-block Jan. 17. (Port Hardy Fire Rescue images)
‘Suspicious’ Port Hardy apartment fire could keep tenants out of their homes for months

A burning mattress created smoke and heat, causing several tenants to jump from windows

Cranbrook Food Bank coordinator Deanna Kemperman, Potluck Cafe Society executive director Naved Noorani and Sunshine Coast Community Services Society executive director Catherine Leach join B.C.’s new Municipal Affairs Minister Josie Osborne on a video call about B.C. gaming grants, Jan. 19, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C. gaming grants reorganized for COVID-19 priorities

Minister highlights community kitchens, food banks

(Pixabay photo)
‘Cocaine bananas’ arrive at Kelowna grocery stores after mix up from Colombia: RCMP

Kelowna RCMP recently concluded an international drug investigation after finding cocaine in local grocers’ banana shipments in 2019

A new video from NCCIH and BC Northern Health titled ‘Healing in Pandemic Times: Indigenous Peoples, Stigma and COVID-19’ was animated by Joanne Gervais. (Photo Provided By: NCCIH Archives)
VIDEO: Stigma against Indigenous people is a ‘social sickness’

A new short animated video is aiming to educate the public on the stigmatization

Nanaimo RCMP are investigating after a threat was made at Woodgrove Centre on Tuesday, Jan. 19. (News Bulletin file photo)
Threat directed at Nanaimo mall, RCMP investigating

Police have searched areas of Woodgrove Centre accessible to shoppers and have deemed it safe

Most Read