Canada defeated Fiji in a tense Pacific Nations Cup encounter Wednesday at Twin Elm Rugby Park in Nepean, Ont.
A late try from hooker Phil Barkwill gave the hosts a 20-10 lead, but they had to scramble as Fiji scored even later to close to 20-18. That was how the game ended as Canada improved to 2-0 in the PNC.
This was a tough, physical game with the teams trading the lead back and forth.Canada opened the scoring when inspirational captain Aaron Carpenter dove over to make it, with Connor Braid's conversion, 7-0.
Fiji battled back and late in the first half Namani Nadolo scored to mame it 7-5. Fiji continued to apply pressure both in offense and defense, and that resulted in two kickable penalties. Setareki Koroilagilagi made no mistake and Fiji led 11-10 at halftime.
Canada ramped up their intensity in the second half,
That forced Fiji into some mistakes, the worst of which was poor cover on a Canadian kick that Harry Jones chased into in-goal. try Canada, and a 15-11 lead.
Experienced scrumhalf Phil Mack then orchestrated Canada's final try, sniping through the Fiji defense before offloading to Ciaran Hearn, who set up Barkwill in support. That sealed it at 20-11. Fiji captain Akapusi Qera scored right at the end, which, with the conversion, made it 20-18, but Canada held on to win.
With the victory, Canada climbs to the top of the table in the 2013 Pacific Nations Cup. They currently sit atop the standings with eight points while Fiji sit in second with five points. Tonga sits in third place with five points while the USA is fourth with a single point. Japan sits at 0-2 and has yet to earn a point in the tournament.
Canada will now have a short turnaround as they get set to take on Tonga Saturday in Kingston, Ont. The match will take place at Richardson Stadium on the campus of Queen's University.
Tries: Carpenter, Jones, Barkwill
Tries: Nadolo, Qera
Pens: Koroilagilagi 2
1 - Andrew Tiedemann, (Castaway Wanderers/Prairie Wolf Pack) St. Albert, AB
2 - Ryan Hamilton, (Capilano RFC/BC Bears) Vancouver, BC 3 - Jason Marshall, (Atlantique Stade Rochelais/BC Bears) Vancouver, BC
4 - Jon Phelan, (Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue/Atlantic Rock) Montreal, QC
5 - Tyler Hotson, (London Scottish RFC) Vancouver, BC
6 - Tyler Ardron, (James Bay AA/Ontario Blues) Lakefield, ON
7 - Nanyak Dala, (Castaway Wanderers RFC/Prairie Wolf Pack) Saskatoon, SK
8 - Aaron Carpenter, Captain, (Cornish Pirates) Brantford, ON
9 - Phil Mack, (UVIC Vikes/BC Bears) Victoria, BC
10 - Liam Underwood, (Queens University/Ontario Blues) Toronto, ON
11 - Taylor Paris, (SU Agen Lot-et-Garonne) Barrie, ON
12 - Harry Jones, (Capilano RFC/BC Bears) Vancouver, BC
13 - Ciaran Hearn, (Castaway Wanderers/Atlantic Rock) Conception Bay, NL
14 - Matt Evans, (Cornish Pirates) Maple Bay, BC
15 - Connor Braid, (Doncaster Knights RFC/BC Bears) Victoria, BC
16 - Ray Barkwill, (Niagara Wasps RFC/Ontario Blues) Niagara Falls, ON
17 - Hubert Buydens, (Saskatoon Wild Oats/Prairie Wolf Pack) Saskatoon, SK
18 - Tom Dolezel, (London St. George’s/Ontario Blues) London, ON
19 - Jebb Sinclair, (London Irish) Fredericton, NB
20 - John Moonlight, (James Bay AA/Ontario Blues) Pickering, ON
21 - Sean White, (James Bay AA/BC Bears) Victoria, BC
22 - Nathan Hirayama, (UVIC Vikes/BC Bears), Richmond, BC
23 - Nick Blevins, (Calgary Hornets, Prairie Wolf Pack) Calgary, AB
1 – Jerry Yanuyanutawa
2 – Tuapati Talemaitoga
3 – Setefano Somoca
4 – Apisalome Ratuniyarawa
5 – Wame Lewaravu/ Rupeni Nasiga
6 – Apisai Naikatini
7 – Malakai Ravulo
8 – Akapusi Qera
9 – Nemia Kenatale
10 – Setareki Koroilagilagi
11 – Aisea Natoga
12 – Leone Tabuarua
13 – Nemani Nadolo
14 – Adriu Delai
15 – Simeli Koniferedi
16 – Viliame Veikoso
17 – Manasa Saulo
18 – Campese Ma’afu
19 – Iliesa Ratuva
20 – Sam Matavesi
21 – Aporosa Kenatale
22 – Jiuta Lutumailagi
23 – Iliesa Salusalu