Canada and Japan draw nail-biter
BORDEAUX, 25 September - Canada and Japan drew a thrilling Pool B match at the Stade Chaban-Delmas in Bordeaux on Tuesday.
The teams were locked at 5-all before Canada captain Morgan Williams sent a cross-field kick to unmarked wing Dth Van Der Merwe, who strolled over the line untouched in the 65th minute to nail a crucial try.
Having to make 30 more tackles than Canada and playing their fourth game in 18 days, the Cherry Blossoms were doing well to still be in the contest in the dying stages of the match as they launched a series of final assaults.
Koji Taira finally crossed in injury time to set up a dramatic finish, Shotaro Onishi calmly slotting the two points to draw the match.
Japan held a 5-0 lead at the break in the lowest-scoring half of the tournament, with wing Kosuke Endo crossing in the 12th minute after brushing aside fly half Ryan Smith and wing Dth van der Merwe.
Canada attacked Japan's line for phase after phase shortly before the half-time whistle but could not break the defence.
It didn't take long after the resumption for Canada to level as hooker Pat Riordan burrowed over the line following several damaging pick and drives.
A courageous Japan were deprived of possession as Canada continually hammered their line.
But to their credit they were strong in defence and denied the Canucks on several occasions midway through the second half, including when number 8 Takuro Miuchi pulled off a try-saving tackle on Williams.