Pritchard can’t save Canada from defeat as he becomes his country’s second highest all-time points scorer
BEDFORD Blues captain James Pritchard became Canada’s second-highest all-time points scorer as he kicked 11 points for Canada in their 25-16 defeat to Italy at Toronto’s BMO Field on Friday night.
The hot boot of Italy fly-half Kris Burton was instrumental in Canada’s downfall as the Italians walked away with victory.
It was the Canadian’s second international rugby game at the stadium and first loss there. Canada defeated the USA in their BMO debut in 2011.
Played in front of 12,220 fans, Canada took an early lead in the game and were 13-9 ahead at half time.
But the dominant Italian scrum handcuffed the Canadians in the second half.
Burton kicked 20 of his team’s 25 points, missing only one kick on the night. Canada full-back Pritchard was also accurate, but had fewer chances at goal.
Pritchard did manage to kick 11 points on four shots at goal, which put him into second on Canada’s list of all time points-scorers. Only current manager Gareth Rees has more points.
Playing a more expansive game early on, Canada was stymied by Italy in the second half.
“Italy to us is a team that is very strong up front and very strong in the contact area,” stated Canada head coach Kieran Crowley.
“We played into their hands by having one off runners a lot of times. That got them into the game.
“It was pretty disappointing from our perspective. We didn’t execute what we went out to do.”
“From our point of view it was a good win,” added Italy head coach Jacques Brunel. “Canada is a tough team and they showed the strong spirit they had at the World Cup and against the U.S.A. last week. We knew it would be a difficult game, so we are happy with the result.”
Canada started the match brightly, disrupting Italy’s throw on the first line out of the match. They spun the ball wide and earned a penalty, which saw them take an early 3-0 lead.
Italy replied with a penalty soon after to level the score at 3-3.
A turning point for Canada was the loss of prop Hubert Buydens in the 17th minute with an ankle injury.
Both sides traded penalty goals before Pritchard took a mark in his own 22m off an Italian kick and launched a towering bomb.
The Italian scrum-half Tito Tebaldi couldn’t hold on to it and Canadian winger Conor Tranior scooped on the loose ball and ran it in for a try under the posts to make it 13-6 Canada.
Burton would add one more penalty to make it 13-9 at the break.
Italy struck first after the break, with Burton punishing the Canadians for a ruck infringement to reduce the lead to just one point at 13-12.
Canada were again penalised for a ruck infringement in the 50th minute and the resulting kick for touch gave Italy a lineout just 10 metres out from the Canadian line.
Italy perfectly executed a driving maul off the lineout to score their only try of the match and take the lead for the first time. Burton converted the try to take the score to 19-13.
Off the resulting kick-off Italy were penalised for obstruction and Pritchard was successful with the three points, closing the gap to 19-16. That was as close as the Canadians would come though.
Italy won a scrum penalty right in front of Canada’s post and Burton made no mistake, extending the lead to 22-16.
Italy’s scrum dominance continued to earn them penalties. Burton extended their lead to 25-16 with less than eight minutes remaining.
Canada finished the match with a strong surge on the Italian line, however the Azzurri’s defence held strong to preserve their nine-point lead and 12th spot in the official IRB world rankings.
Canada next face Georgia in Burnaby, BC, on Saturday, June 23.
Canada: 1 Hubert Buydens – Prairie Wolf Pack (Saskatoon, SK), 2 Mike Pletch - Ontario Blues (Lucan, ON), 3 Jason Marshall - Stade Aurillacois (North Vancouver, BC), 4 Jebb Sinclair - London Irish/Stormers (Charter’s Settlement, NB), 5 Tyler Hotson - London Scottish (Vancouver, BC), 6 Tyler Ardron - Ontario Blues (Lakefield, ON), 7 Chauncey O’Toole - The Rock (Belleisle, NB), 8 Aaron Carpenter - Plymouth Albion (Brantford, ON), 9 Sean White - unattached (Victoria, BC), 10 Matt Evans - Cornish Pirates (Duncan, BC), 11 Phil Mackenzie - London Welsh (Oakville, ON), 12 Mike Scholz - Ontario Blues (Oakville, ON), 13 DTH Van der Merwe - Glasgow Warriors (Victoria, BC), 14 Conor Trainor - British Columbia (Vancouver, BC), 15 James Pritchard - Bedford Blues (Parkes, Australia). Replacments: 16 Andrew Tiedemann - Prairie Wolf Pack (St Albert, AB), 17 Tom Dolezel - Ontario Blues (London, ON), 18 Jon Phelan - The Rock (Montreal, QC), 19 Nanyak Dala - Prairie Wolf Pack (Saskatoon, SK), 20 Edward Fairhurst - British Columbia (Victoria, BC), 21 Liam Underwood - Ontario Blues (Toronto, ON), 22 Ciaran Hearn - The Rock (Conception Bay South, NL). T: Trainor. C: Pritchard. P: Pritchard 3.
Italy: 1 Michele Rizzo, 2 Tommaso D’Apice, 3 Martin Castrogiovanni, 4 Joshua Furno, 5 Antonio Pavanello, 6 Alessandro Zanni, 7 Simone Favaro, 8 Robert Barbieri, 9 Tito Tebaldi, 10 Kristopher Burton, 11 Tommaso Benvenuti, 12 Alberto Sgarbi, 13 Andrea Pratichetti, 14 Giovambattista Venditti, 15 Alberto Benettin. Replacements: 16 Carlo Festuccia, 17 Lorenzo Romano, 18 Marco Fuser, 19 Mauro Bergamasco, 20 Edoardo Gori, 21 Riccardo Bocchino, 22 Giulio Toniolatti. T: D’Apice. C: Burton. P: Burton 6.
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Weather for Bedford
Sunday 19 May 2013
Temperature: 10 C to 19 C
Wind Speed: 12 mph
Wind direction: North
Temperature: 11 C to 18 C
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