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Canada stun Lions to end Rugby Classic drought after 16 years

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Canada and the Lions fight for possession (Photographs by Akil Simmons)

Canada turned the World Rugby Classic on its head after pulling off a stunning 19-15 upset over Lions Legends at the National Sports Centre North Field on Sunday.

The Canadians came from behind to secure their first win at the event since beating France in the plate final in 2006 in a tight affair that could have gone either way.

“We challenged the guys before the game,” a team spokesman said. “We were coming into this with no one expecting us to show up and they were told to wear that jersey proud.

“We are representing our country and it’s been awhile since we have done it. It’s a special thing so guys went out there and that last three, four minutes just kind of proved what it was.

“They scored on us on something we thought was probably a knock on but we worked down the field to score and then our defence won it right at the end.”

Lions lift a Canada player off the ground at the World Rugby Classic (Photographs by Akil Simmons)

The Lions were never out of contention but ultimately paid the price for conceding far too many penalties.

“I am a bit disappointed with the result that did not go our way on the pitch,” a Lions team spokesman said.

“We should have won that game before the last five minutes. We had plenty of opportunities to finish it off much earlier but I think we made too many errors for penalties. I think we gave away sixteen penalties and you are never going to win a game like that.

“It’s brilliant that you get three games in a week at the Rugby Classic, so hopefully we put things right on Tuesday night.”

Canada will now look to build on their momentum when they face the unbeaten Argentina Legends, who thrashed the USA Eagles on Tuesday night.

“We are looking at the next game now,” the Canada team spokesman said. “But first we’ve got a good night of celebration to enjoy after this.

“That’s kind of what this tournament is. We come down here to celebrate our careers and our successes that we have had through rugby and now we can come here, have some fun and get ready for Tuesday.”

The Lions will be keen to bounce back at the earliest opportunity in their next outing against defending champions France, who won the opening match of the Rugby Classic on Saturday.

“We are a scratch team just coming together, which is always difficult,” the Lions spokesman added. “But I expect better things on Tuesday.”

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Published October 10, 2022 at 6:51 am (Updated October 10, 2022 at 6:51 am)

Canada stun Lions to end Rugby Classic drought after 16 years

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