'Glum' Canucks drown their sorrows

Tue, 27 Sep 2011 00:00
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Canada coach Kieran Crowley has said that a round or two of drinks were in order for his team in order to get over the "anti-climax" of their draw with Japan before they turn their attention to the All Blacks.

Canada coach Kieran Crowley has said that a round or two of drinks were in order for his team in order to get over the "anti-climax" of their draw with Japan before they turn their attention to the All Blacks.

The valiant Canadians have impressed many with their intensity at the World Cup and they will need as much passion as they can muster when they take on the hosts and number one team in the world in their final World Cup match, but Crowley said that their focus will shift to that match once they had drowned their sorrows over their second consecutive World Cup stalemate with Japan.

"We're not even worried about that game yet," he said of the match against All Blacks. "At this level when you get those tier one nations there are no weaknesses, you've just got to play your own game.

"The boys have just had a big hard Test match against Japan and they've come out of it with a draw which is great. We need to come down off the emotional high, have a couple of drinks and then worry about New Zealand tomorrow or the next day," explained the former All Black fullback.

Canada captain Pat Riordan said that the final result was quite tough to swallow, especially as they had given themselves a good chance of winning the game right at the end.

"The tie is a bit like kissing your cousin," the bearded hooker said. "As we say at home, 'It's great to kiss someone, but it is your cousin'. Both teams probably felt like they could have won it and were therefore a little disappointed they didn't win it.

"The players are a bit glum. A couple of times we thought we could have pulled away, just as Japan did, I'm sure," he added.

Ander Monro was ultimately the villain turned hero for Canada, missing three kicks before nailing a 79th-minute penalty to draw the scores level and prolong Japan's winless streak that stretches back 20 years.

"I felt we played some pretty good rugby in the first half but we kept making some handling errors that put pressure back on ourselves," said Crowley, a former All Black player and selector.

"You can't afford to score points and then make a mistake which puts them straight back into it. The second half was a much better performance, particularly in the last 10 minutes.

"It wasn't until the last 10 minutes that we started to move the ball outside those inside channels and we started to create a bit of go forward," he said.

But Crowley was ultimately phlegmatic about the result, saying: "We'd rather take two points than nothing at all."

The draw left Canada, who beat Tonga 25-20 in their opener but then went 46-19 down to France, sitting third in the pool behind the unbeaten All Blacks and France.

"Tonga now have to get two points against France," said Crowley. "That's something that Canada has never done before so we will be watching that France game very closely."

Crowley explained that aside from the physical recovery time, the emotional side of things was just as important for his team as they seek to settle down ahead of the showdown with the World's best team.

"It's massively difficult, not only physically but mentally. When I was playing it used to take me from a Saturday through to Wednesday to come back down from the emotional side of things because you put so much in," he said.

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