Romania complete record fightback to stun Canada

Tue Oct 6, 2015 3:06pm EDT
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By Nick Mulvenney

LEICESTER, England (Reuters) - Florin Vlaicu nervelessly slotted a penalty three minutes from time to lift Romania to the biggest comeback win in Rugby World Cup history with a 17-15 Pool D victory over Canada on Tuesday.

The Oaks trailed 15-0 early in the second half after Canada had scored tries either side of the break through wingers DTH Van Der Merwe -- his fourth in as many matches at the World Cup -- and Jeff Hassler.

Romania, however, made the most of their pronounced forward superiority and stormed back with converted scores from captain and number eight Mihai Macovei in the 53rd and 74th minutes to get within a point.

Canada were down to 14 men after flanker Jebb Sinclair was sin-binned and the Romanian pack smashed the Canucks at yet another scrum to earn a penalty and give Vlaicu his chance of glory from 35 meters out.

The 29-year-old center, who also converted both tries, made no mistake with a curling effort to earn his side their first victory in Pool D and condemn Canada to only a second winless tournament in eight World Cup appearances.

"I never give up," Romania's Welsh coach Lynn Howells told reporters.

"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."   Continued...

Rugby Union - Canada v Romania - IRB Rugby World Cup 2015 Pool D - Leicester City Stadium, Leicester, England - 6/10/15
Canada's Ray Barkwill is dejected at the end of the game
Action Images via Reuters / Peter Cziborra