Vlaicu steers Romania past Canada
REPORT: Phil Mack scored a lone Canadian try as they were narrowly edged 16-21 by Romania in Bucharest on Saturday.
Gordon McRorie kicked three penalties and Connor Braid added one conversion for the visitors while Romania's Florin Vlaicu scored 16 of his side's 21 points.
Canada started the better side, buoyed by Taylor Paris winning the opening kick-off before McRorie slotted Canada ahead just two minutes in with a penalty.
However, Romania came fighting back and should have had two tries if not for outstanding defensive work by DTH van der Merwe and Matt Evans. Yet they would find their first try on the third attempt as Vlaicu powered over a McRorie tackle, to touch down before converting himself.
After Vlaicu and McRorie exchanged penalties, Canada thought they had their first try of the game as Conor Trainor collected a loose ball off a high kick but it was determined the ball had been knocked on by Paris' shoulder.
Romania had their second try in the 24th minute as scrumhalf Florin Surugiu chipped behind the Canadian back line and Ionut Dumitru was the beneficiary to push the le ad to 15-6 before Vlaicu's penalty made it 18-6 at the break.
Canada came roaring out of the gates in the second half and despite an endless wave of phases inside the Romanian 22, they couldn't find a try. Vlaicu pushed Romania's lead to 21-6 before McRorie grabbed his third penalty of the night.
Mack would touch down for Canada in the 74th minute after Connor Braid was stopped just short of the try line but Canada couldn't muster any more offence as they narrowly lost to Romania for the third time in as many years.
Tries: Vlaicu, Dumitru
Pens: Vlaicu 3
Pens: McRorie 3
Romania: 15 Catalin Fercu, 14 Fonovai Tangimana, 13 Jack Umaga, 12 Vladut Popa, 11 Ionu Dumitru, 10 Florin Vlaicu, 9 Florin Surugiu, 8 Andrei Gorcioaia, 7 Stelian Burcea (captain), 6 Viorel Lucaci, 5 Marius Antonescu, 4 Johannes van Heerden, 3 Alexandru Tarus, 2 Eugen Capatana, 1 Mihaita Lazar.
Replacements: 16 Andrei Radoi, 17 Ionel Badiu, 18 Alexandru Gordas, 19 Valentin Poparlan, 20 Cristian Chirica, 21 Valentin Calafeteanu, 22 Nicolas Onutu, 23 Stephen Shennan.
Canada: 15 Matt Evans, 14 DTH van der Merwe, 13 Conor Trainor, 12 Ben Lesage, 11 Taylor Paris, 10 Connor Braid, 9 Gordon McRorie, 8 Admir Cejvanovic, 7 Matt Heaton, 6 Kyle Baillie, 5 Evan Olmstead, 4 Brett Beukeboom, 3 Jake Ilnicki, 2 Ray Barkwill, 1 Djustice Sears-Duru.
Replacements: 16 Eric Howard, 17 Rob Brouwer, 18 Ryan Kotlewski, 19 Conor Keys, 20 Clay Panga,21 Phil Mack, 22 Pat Parfrey, 23 Ciaran Hearn.
Referee: Shuhei Kubo (Japan)
Assistant referees: Luke Pearce (England), Gary Conway (Ireland)
TMO: Stefano Pennè (Italy)