Rugby World Cup Qualifier
Canada book RWC berth
July 12, 2009

Canada have earned a place in the All Blacks' pool for the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand in 2011.

They beat the USA 41-18 in Edmonton, Canada, to win the two-match qualifying series between the North American rivals on aggregate after the Eagles claimed the spoils with a 12-6 win in sweltering conditions last weekend.

Ranked 13th in the International Rugby Board's world rankings, Canada advance to a spot in pool A at the World Cup with New Zealand, France, Tonga and an Asian qualifier.

The Canucks scored six tries on the day, and were helped by US centre Paul Emerick's sending off. Fullback James Pritchard scored the first for Kieran Crowley's side, with Adam Kleeberger and Justin Mensah-Coker also crossing before the break after Emerick had been handed his marching orders.

Scrum-half Ed Fairhurst extended the hosts' lead after the break before impressive centre DTH van der Merwe scored a deserved touchdown of his own. The scoring was rounded off by wing Matt Evans and a consolation for USA skipper Todd Clever.

The Americans will now face Uruguay in a two-game series to decide their World Cup fate. The winners of that series will join pool C alongside Australia, Ireland, Italy and another European side.

Elsewhere, Samoa moved closer to a place in pool D, alongside South Africa, Wales, Fiji and the Africa 1 qualifier, with a 115-7 rout of Papua New Guinea at Apia Park. Samoa scored 17 tries to see off their opponents, who took a surprise lead in the opening minute thanks to wing Roland Namo.

The sides will now meet in the second leg at Port Moresby next weekend.


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