Canada clip Eagles' wings in PNC
Canada clip Eagles' wings in PNCSHARE
John Moonlight scored the only try of the game and Connor Braid's boot made the difference as Canada beat the United States 16-9 on the opening day of the Pacific Nations Cup on Saturday.
In heavy winds and rain that made ball handling difficult, the hosts took charge in the first half thanks to an early penalty by the United States.
Canada elected to kick a penalty goal and Braid split the uprights to put Canada up by three.
Before the midway point of the first half, an errant pass from a USA lineout just metres from their own try zone was grabbed by Moonlight, who only had to take a few steps before diving over the line for what proved to be the only try.
Braid's conversion extended Canada's lead to 10-0.
The United States marched back downfield, taking advantage of a Canadian penalty to cut the deficit to seven points following a kick from fullback Adam Siddal – who earned his first cap and kicked three penalty goals to account for all of the USA's points in the defeat.
Coming into the second half, the hungry United States shifted the momentum. They were awarded a penalty about 35 metres out in the 50th minute and Siddal kicked the ball straight down the middle to trim the Eagles' deficit to 6-10.
With a strong defence and a confident attack building, the United States seemed destined to score their first try of the contest, but settled for another Sidall penalty goal that narrowed the gap to 9-10.
However, Braid added two more penalty goals within minutes of each other to rebuild Canada's advantage.
Earlier on Saturday, Tonga defeated Japan 27-17 in Yokohama in the opening match of the tournament.
For the USA and Canada, Saturday's match was preparation for their upcoming 2015 World Cup qualifiers.
The North American rivals – newcomers to the Pacific Nations Cup – will face off in a World Cup qualifier in August.
Japan 17-27 Tonga
Tries: Tui, Sau, Kizu
Tries: Helu, Vainikolo 2, Aholelei
Cons: Apikotoa 2
Canada 16-9 United States
Pens: Braid 3
For United States:
Pens: Siddal 3