The Malta Independent 12 November 2019, Tuesday

Rugby, World Cup, Day 17: Canada picks van der Merwe to play South Africa

Associated Press Sunday, 6 October 2019, 12:28 Last update: about 2 months ago

The Latest on Day 17 of the Rugby World Cup in Japan (all times local):

7:15 p.m.

Canada has made six changes to its starting lineup for the Pool B game against South Africa but kept experienced winger DTH van der Merwe to play his first test against his country of birth.

Van der Merwe will set a Canadian record of 15 Rugby World Cup appearances and is bidding to join Brian Lima, Brian O'Driscoll, Gareth Thomas and Adam Ashley-Cooper as the only players to score a try at four World Cups.

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In the changes following a 63-0 loss to New Zealand, Canada brought in a new front row of Hubert Buydens, Andrew Quattrin and Jake Ilnicki. Lock Kyle Baille makes his first World Cup appearance. Coach Kingsley Jones also drafted in scrumhalf Phil Mack and fullback Andrew Coe.

Canada lost 48-7 to Italy before the drubbing by the All Blacks.

Canada: Andrew Coe, Jeff Hassler, Conor Trainor, Ciaran Hearn, DTH van der Merwe, Peter Nelson, Phil Mack; Tyler Ardron (captain), Matt Heaton, Lucas Rumball, Kyle Baillie, Evan Olmstead, Jake Ilnicki, Andrew Quattrin, Hubert Buydens. Reserves: Benoit Piffero, Djustice Sears-Duru, Matt Tierney, Josh Larsen, Michael Sheppard, Jamie Mackenzie, Shane O'Leary, Guiseppe du Toit.

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6:45 p.m.

France has beaten Tonga 23-21 to join England in the quarterfinals and maintain its record of always reaching the knockout round.

France led 17-0 but Tonga pulled back to within two points after a converted try from flanker Zane Kapeli with one minute left in regulation.

England and France have three wins each and play to decide top spot in Pool C next Saturday.

France led 17-7 at halftime after left winger Alivereti Raka set up center Virimi Vakatawa and then created a try for himself with a kick and collect down the left flank.

Flyhalf Romain Ntamack converted both, after earlier landing a penalty goal.

Tonga replied with a converted try right on halftime by Sonatane Takulua, who peeled off the back of the scrum and just made it over the line. It was awarded following a video review.

Center Malietoa Hingano got a second converted try early in the second half, shortly after France flanker Charles Ollivon had a try disallowed when the Television Match Official showed lock Sebastien Vahaamahina feeding him a forward pass.

Two Ntamack penalties made it 23-14 with 20 minutes left.

Right winger Damian Penaud thought he had a try when he collected replacement scrumhalf Antoine Dupont's short pass and went over in the right corner.

But referee Nic Berry ruled it out when the TMO showed fullback Medard's arm slightly knocking the ball on when he spilled a high kick during the buildup.

Kapeli's effort near fulltime proved to be too late to make a difference.

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6:10 p.m.

Italy props Andrea Lovotti and Nicola Quaglio have both been banned for three games for joining forces to spear tackle South Africa No. 8 Duane Vermeulen in a Pool B match last Friday.

Lovotti was sent off at Shizuoka Stadium for lifting Vermeulen off his feet, tipping him over and spearing him into the ground head-first early in the second half. Italy, which trailed 17-3 when Lovotti was red-carded, lost 49-3.

Quaglio was standing next to Lovotti and appeared to help his teammate lift and tip Vermeulen onto his head. He escaped any punishment during the game but was cited afterward.

Lovotti admitted a charge of foul play at a disciplinary hearing. Quaglio also admitted foul play but denied it met the red card threshold.

They both miss Italy's final pool game against New Zealand and their next two club games if Italy fails to progress at the Rugby World Cup.

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5:40 p.m.

France is leading Tonga 17-7 at halftime in their Rugby World Cup Pool C match at Kumamoto Stadium.

Les Bleus can join England in the quarterfinals with a victory and are on course to maintain their record of always reaching the knockout round.

France was 10-0 up after just six minutes.

Flyhalf Romain Ntamack slotted over a penalty goal near the posts, then converted center Virimi Vakatawa's try after he was set up by a brilliant break from left winger Alivereti Raka.

Despite dry and warm conditions both sides fumbled the ball, leading to multiple turnovers in possession.

Raka made two more tackle-breaking runs, and then finished well with a try from his own kick after taking a quick pass from scrumhalf Baptiste Serin.

Ntamack converted for 17-0 after 33 minutes.

Tonga replied with a converted try right on halftime by Sonatane Takulua, who peeled off the back of the scrum and just made it over the line. It was awarded following a video review.

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5:25 p.m.

Johan Deysel didn't wait long to look at the positives after Namibia conceded 11 tries in a 71-9 loss to defending champion New Zealand. There's always next week.

While the All Blacks kept their unbeaten record in Rugby World Cup group games intact, Namibia extended a winless streak at the tournament to 22. Deysel is aiming to end that on Oct. 13 against Canada.

"We will have a chance and we just have to work hard this week — the team that wants it most will get it, Deysel said.

Namibia's loss to three-time champion New Zealand followed losses to two-time champion South Africa and Italy. Canada opened a 48-7 loss to Italy and a 63-0 loss to New Zealand and has to play South Africa before it meets Namibia in its last group game.

Namibia coach Phil Davies said he was he impressed with the first-half effort, particularly the first half hour.

"I'm very proud of the effort we put in. We knew we were playing against the best team in the competition, the current champions but we gave it all we could," Davies said. "I couldn't ask any more of our players. The scoreboard looks a bit painful but there was lots to take out of the match."

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3:45 p.m.

New Zealand has moved closer to a ninth quarterfinals berth in nine Rugby World Cups after accounting for Namibia 71-9.

New Zealand, which has never lost a pool game, will play Italy next weekend in a bid to sweep Pool B. The All Blacks would have to lose to Italy next Saturday to have any risk of missing out on the knockout stage.

Just four days after blitzing Canada 63-0, the All Blacks increased the highest score at this World Cup with a victory by 11 tries to nil at Tokyo Stadium.

The only negative for New Zealand was yellow cards for props Nepo Laulala and Ofa Tuungafasi, both for arm tackles hitting the ball-carriers' heads, though both times the Namibians were ducking down and low.

Still, being a man short for the end of both halves didn't even register with the All Blacks, who scored four tries while down to 14 men.

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2:40 p.m.

New Zealand's attempt to clinch a quarterfinals place was being stubbornly opposed by unfancied Namibia at Tokyo Stadium.

The All Blacks, with prop Nepo Laulala in the sin-bin, led only 24-9 at halftime, four tries to three penalties.

New Zealand led 10-3 after first-quarter tries by Sevu Reece and Anton Lienert-Brown, but Namibia better controlled possession and forced penalties. Damian Stevens, who kicked the first points in the third minute, kicked his side to trail only 10-9.

Laulala was then yellow-carded in the 31st for his tackling arm hitting Namibia winger Lesley Klim in the head.

But while they had 14 men, the All Blacks patiently worked the phases, and Angus Ta'avao, the temporary replacement for Laulala, and fullback Ben Smith in injury time, crossed for tries. Jordie Barrett converted both, after having one charged down by Stevens.

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1 p.m.

Captain Siya Kolisi and center Damian de Allende are the only starting players backing up to face Canada at the Rugby World Cup four days after South Africa's 49-3 win over Italy in Pool B.

Springboks rugby director Rassie Erasmus made 13 changes to his starting XV for Tuesday's game, promoting five players who were on the bench i against Italy and giving Damian Willemse a start at fullback just five days after arriving in Japan as an injury replacement.

Frontrower Thomas du Toit and scrumhalf Cobus Reinach wil get their first starts of the tournament. A win with a bonus point against Canada should be enough for South Africa to secure a spot in the quarterfinals. The Springboks recovered from an opening loss to defending champion New Zealand with lopsided wins over Namibia and Italy.

"A four-day turnaround between tests is a challenge but we had planned for it and will be well prepared," Erasmus said. "This match is just as important as the three that we have already played — it has the same number of log points available and the same impact on our chances of qualifying and we have to now complete the job."

Canada lost its 48-7 to Italy and 63-0 to New Zealand in its first two pool games.

South Africa: Damian Willemse, Warrick Gelant, Damian de Allende, Frans Steyn, Sbu Nkosi, Elton Jantjies, Cobus Reinach; Francois Louw, Kwagga Smith, Siya Kolisi (captain), Franco Mostert, RG Snyman, Vincent Koch, Schalk Brits, Thomas du Toit. Reserves: Malcolm Marx, Steven Kitshoff, Frans Malherbe, Eben Etzebeth, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Herschel Jantjies, Handre Pollard, Willie le Roux.

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12:30 p.m.

New Zealand hasn't lost a match at the Rugby World Cup since a quarterfinal upset in 2007, a record streak of 16 wins at the sport's marquee tournament.

Namibia hasn't won a match in 21 starts at the World Cup, and is the tournament's lowest-ranked team.

So there's two streaks that are almost certain to be extended on Sunday when the three-time champion All Blacks meet Namibia at Tokyo Stadium.

New Zealand won the only previous meeting between the teams 58-14 four years ago in England, with Johan Deysel crossing for Namibia's try and Theuns Kotze landing three penalty goals.

In the later game at Kumamoto, France will play Tonga in Pool C. T

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The 3:45 p.m. item on New Zealand vs. Namibia was corrected to clarify the quarterfinals scenarios.

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