Skip to main contentAccess keys helpA-Z index

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
| Help
Last Updated: Friday, 26 September, 2003, 06:30 GMT 07:30 UK
Canadian consistency
Canada have played in each of rugby's four World Cups and have left each tournament with at least one victory.

Consistency on that level may not win prizes, but it most certainly earns praise.

And over the course of the development of the competition, Canada have won some approving accolades, none more so than in reaching the quarter-finals in 1991

Canada v New Zealand 1991
Played 13 - W:5 L:8
1987: Pool stage
1991: Quarter-finals
1995: Pool stage
1999: Pool stage
However, they have slipped from that high and their last outing in 1999 was their poorest showing.

It was also the first time that the Canucks would have returned home knowing that an opportunity was missed, defeat to Fiji costing them the chance of advancing to the knock-out stages.

The one crucial thing missing from Canada's World Cup CV is the scalp of a more senior side.

Having won their opening match in 1987 against Tonga 37-4, a then record win, Canada pushed Ireland and then Wales to their limits.

However in each encounter, experience and expertise told as Canada squandered leads.

Against Ireland they led by three points with 20 minutes remaining, and against Wales, with the efforts of the previous games sapping the energy, a 9-6 half-time lead evaporated in a one-way second half.

Four years later, their efforts were rewarded.

Wins against Fiji and Romania set up a match against France for the right to top the pool.

Despite going 9-0 down early on, Canada stayed in touch throughout but were never quite able to overcome that deficit.

In the quarter-final in Lille, on a pitch that resembled a pool, Canada again gave a good account of themselves although New Zealand proved too strong, cruising to a 13-29.

It was a similar story in South Africa four years later when they were paired in the pool stages with the hosts and Australia.

Although they were not over-run in either game, a major Test scalp again eluded them and with it another quarter-final place.

But after performances that promised so much, Canada's impact on the event has petered out.

And to an extent, they have been the victims of their own success.

Having caught the eye on the international stage, players have been lured to foreign fields to ply their trade, the cohesive nature of the team has been disrupted and results have tailed off.

Prior to the 1999 tournament they failed to win a match in more than a year and eight outings.

That stretched to an all-time record of 10 defeats after losses to France and Fiji, matches a Canadian team in their prime would have won.

They maintained their record of winning a match at each tournament at the last, a record 72-11 win over Namibia, mirroring their opening outing in the tournament.

Canadians will be hoping those record wins do not top and tail the country's golden era on the world stage and that there is more to come from the Canucks.

Links to more Canada stories


Team-by-team analysis


E-mail services | Sport on mobiles/PDAs


Back to top

Sport Homepage | Football | Cricket | Rugby Union | Rugby League | Tennis | Golf | Motorsport | Boxing | Athletics | Snooker | Horse Racing | Cycling | US Sport | Other Sport | Olympics 2004

Scores & Fixtures | Have Your Say | Photo Galleries | TV/Radio Listings

Fun and Games | Question of Sport | BBC Sport Extra

Northern Ireland | Scotland | Wales

BBC Sport Academy >> | BBC News >> | BBC Weather >>
About the BBC | News sources | Privacy & Cookies Policy | Contact us
banner watch listen bbc sport