Canadian men inch closer to Rugby World Cup berth
Spot would be secured with win or tie vs. Hong Kong in Nov. 23 repechage finale
Canada moved a step closer to the Rugby World Cup on Saturday with a 29-10 win over Germany at a last-chance qualifying tournament.
Canada, ranked 21st in the world, can book its place at 2019 World Cup in Japan with a win or tie against No. 24 Hong Kong in the repechage finale Nov. 23.
"We still have one more [game]," said captain Phil Mack from Marseille, France. "So again just like last week, we've got to reflect on this, carry on and then hopefully we'll get a trip to the World Cup."
Watch highlights of Canada's win over Germany:
The Canadian men top the four-team round-robin with 10 points after their second straight bonus-point win while Hong Kong has five points, Germany four and Kenya none. Saturday's loss eliminated the 26th-ranked Germans, who can finish with no more than nine points.
The first tiebreaker in the event of a tie is the result between the two tied teams.
"I felt it was tough at times, we knew it would be," said Canada's coach Kingsley Jones. "Germany is a really strong side, a big side, and it's a Cup match. Sixty-minute mark, it's no surprise the score was close but to come away with a bonus point when it's such a big game shows massive maturity from our team."
No. 29 Kenya is also out of the running after losing 42-17 to Hong Kong earlier Saturday at Stade Delort.
The repechage winner will complete the World Cup field, slotting into Group B at the 2019 tournament in Japan alongside top-ranked New Zealand, No. 5 Australia, No. 13 Italy and No. 22 Namibia.
Lucas Rumball and Tyler Ardron also scored tries for Canada, which led 10-7 at the half. McRorie kicked a penalty and added three conversions.
Dasch Barber scored for Germany. Raynor Parkinson booted a conversions and a penalty.
Canada has never missed a World Cup.
Millions of dollars are at stake. Rugby Canada has said missing out on the sport's showcase could hit its bottom line to the tune of $10 million with World Rugby funding going elsewhere.
Canada thumped Kenya 65-19 in its opening game while Germany beat Hong Kong 26-9.
The Canadians put Germany under pressure from the get-go. The Germans held strong but paid for a series of second-half penalties that killed chances of a comeback.
Canada's power in the forwards proved to be the difference although handling errors delayed the scoreboard ticking over.
Matt Evans' try in the 68th minute, off a fine inside pass from Gord McRorie, gave Canada some breathing room with a 22-10 lead. McRorie then went over in the 72nd minute for the fourth try that netted Canada a bonus point and, with his conversion, a 29-10 lead.
Canada dropped into the repechage after losing qualifying series against the 15th-ranked U.S. Eagles (80-44 on aggregate) and No. 18 Uruguay (70-60 on aggregate).
Germany landed in the repechage after losing a playoff to Samoa, which moved into Pool A at the World Cup. The Germans ended up in that Europe versus Oceania playoff after Rugby Europe Championship winners Romania and runner-up Spain were disqualified for breaching player eligibility laws.