Romania made history overnight, establishing the biggest ever comeback in Rugby World Cup records as they beat Canada 17-15.
Inspirational Romanian captain Mihai Macovei bagged a late second half double to bring his side to within one point of the Canadian team. Following that with less than three minutes remaining, second five-eighth Florin Vlaicu knocked over the winning penalty kick.
With both sides looking to grab their first win of the tournament, this was always going to be a fiery encounter. Canada had a dream start to the match, kicking an early penalty before both wingers scored within 10 minutes of one another, giving the Maple Leaves a comfortable 15-0 lead going into the break.
Canada continued to control both the territory and possession early on in the second half. But the Romanians began a lineout drive in the 51st minute from 20 metres out and with the help of a few backs, drove the Canadian forwards eventually over the line. Macovei emerged with the ball and the first try for his side.
20 minutes later, Romania wheeled a scrum five metres out. Macovei scooped up the ball from the base and surged towards the line for his second try of the contest. The conversion meant that the scores were levelled at 15-15 with 10 minutes to go.
In the end it was another dominant scrum from the Romanians that drew a penalty and from 35 metres out. It was Vlaicu who knocked over the match winning goal. – Jackson Thomas.
Top photo of the Romanian rugby team from the Rugby World Cup’s official Facebook page.