Ireland to open World Cup campaign against Canada
Victory over the United States in Toronto seals qualification
Canada’s Jason Marshall scored a second-half try in the victory over the United States in Toronto. Photograph: Franck Fife/Getty Images/AFP
Ireland’s 2015 World Cup campaign will open with a game against Canada at the Millennium Stadium after they became the first direct qualifier for the tournament following a hard-fought 13-11 victory in the second leg of their play-off against the United States in Toronto on Saturday night.
After claiming a 27-9 win last weekend in Charlestown, the Canadians notched a seventh straight win against the Eagles, with Jason Marshall diving over the line at the corner midway through the second half to give the home side a buffer. The teams had entered the break tied after a try and penalty goal apiece.
Needing to win by 19 points, the US continued to press hard but only added a penalty and will now need to take on Uruguay next year in a home and away series for the final Americas qualifying place.
Canada will feature in Pool D alongside Ireland, 2011 World Cup runners-up France, Italy and the second qualifier from Europe.
Ireland will meet Canada in their opener on Saturday September 19th in Cardiff.
America came out of the blocks strongly chasing tries and had one attempt ruled out by the TMO before Taku Ngwenya’s try gave the visitors a 5-0 lead midway through the half.
The second half was just as tight and it took a Marshall try in the 60th minute to break the deadlock and give the home side the lead once more.
Wyles responded six minutes later with a penalty and had the chance to steal victory in the last minute, but his penalty attempt drifted wide and the celebrations started for Canada.
Canada captain Aaron Carpenter said: “It is an amazing feeling to know that we will be there proudly representing Canada at Rugby World Cup.”
“It caps an incredible year with more test matches and Pacific Nations Cup inclusion and I am sure it will boost rugby interest here. I am really proud of the guys.”