Romania upset Canada in comeback win

1:01 pm on 7 October 2015

Centre Florin Vlaicu slotted a penalty with three minutes left to lift Romania to the biggest comeback win in Rugby World Cup history with a 17-15 victory over Canada.

The Canada wing DTH van der Merwe scored a try in their upset loss to Romania.

The Canada wing DTH van der Merwe scored a try in their upset loss to Romania. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The Romanians trailed 15-0 early in the second half of their Pool D clash in Leicester 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 hit 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 metres out.

He made no mistake to earn his side their first win in Pool D, condemning Canada to only a second winless tournament in eight World Cup appearances.

Romania have one final match against Italy in Exeter on October 11 and could still finish third in the group with a victory to qualify for the 2019 World Cup.

The Canadians will rue being unable to make the most of the string of scoring chances in the first half and the inaccuracy with the boot of halfback Gordon McRorie, who missed two penalties and a conversion.

They looked to be on their way to victory, however, when Van Der Merwe squeezed between two defenders and reached over the line to touch down, becoming the first player from a tier two nation to score tries in four successive matches at a World Cup.

Only Wales and British and Irish Lions flyer Shane Williams had previously scored a try in all four of his country's World Cup pool matches, achieving the feat in 2007.

- Reuters

Get the new RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs

We have regular online commentary of local and international sport.