Canada defeats Coventry in run-up to Rugby World Cup repechage tournament

COVENTRY, England — Canada defeated Coventry 35-12 Monday for its second win against English club opposition in the run-up to the Rugby World Cup repechage tournament.  

The Canadian men, who downed Oxford University 26-20 last Wednesday, led Coventry 21-5 at the half and 35-5 before a late try by the home side, which stands seventh in England’s second-tier Greene King IPA Championship standings.

Canada got tries from Ray Barkwill, Tyler Ardron, Nick Blevins and Kainoa Lloyd plus a penalty try. Gord McRorie kicked four conversions.

“There were lots of pleasing elements to it,” said Canada coach Kingsley Jones. “The scoreline, 35-12, I think flattered Coventry believe it or not.

“We created at least another three (scoring) opportunities that we failed to take.”

Jones was not happy at the amount of penalties his team gave up as the game wore on.

Lloyd was issued a yellow card in the 79th minute for a repeat offside infringement.

Including a 32-31 Canada ‘A’ win over Tonga ‘A’ 32-31 last month at the World Rugby Americas Pacific Challenge, the Canadian men have won three straight.

Canada now heads to Marseille, France, for the last-chance World Cup qualifier.

The 23rd-ranked Canadians open Sunday against No. 28 Kenya before facing No. 29 Germany on Nov. 17 and No. 21 Hong Kong on Nov. 23. All of the games are at the 5,000-capacity Stade Delort.

The round-robin winner will slot into Pool B at the 2019 World Cup in Japan alongside top-ranked New Zealand, No. 5 South Africa, No. 14 Italy and No. 22 Namibia. 

Canada, which has never failed to qualify for the World Cup, dropped into the repechage after losing qualifying series against the 15th-ranked U.S. Eagles and No. 18 Uruguay.

Also Monday, Rugby Canada announced home games at Westhills Stadium in Langford, B.C., against No. 30 Chile on Feb. 22 and Argentina ‘A’ on March 1 as part of the Americas Rugby Championship (ARC).

The tournament, which runs Feb. 23 to March 9, will see test sides from Canada, the U.S., Uruguay, Chile, Brazil and an Argentina ‘A’ squad meet in a round-robin format across multiple locations in North and South America.

Canada will open Feb. 2 against Uruguay in Montevideo before facing No. 26 Brazil on Feb. 9 in Sao Paulo. It will wrap up tournament play March 8 against the U.S. in Seattle.

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