Canucks have got clout

Canada coach Ric Suggitt insists his side’s performance against Wales in Nantes on Sunday proves the Canucks deserve to dine at the top table.

Canada led 17-9 early in the second half following tries from Jamie Cudmore, Craig Culpan and captain Morgan Williams and Wale coach Jenkins was left with no option but to cash in his insurance policy.

Gareth Thomas was introduced at full-back for Kevin Morgan and Stephen Jones replaced James Hook and immediately took control of the match.

Wales then scored five tries in the last half hour – through Sonny Parker, Alun-Wyn Jones, Colin Charvis and two from Shane Williams – to end the day with a 42-17 win, and Suggitt was keen to bring his side’s battling performance to the attention of the International Rugby Board (IRB).

The Canadians are frustrated at moves being discussed by the game’s governing body to reduce the number of World Cup teams from 20 to 16 in four years time.

The plan is to eliminate many of the one-sided matches from the tournament by cutting in half the number of developing nations competing.

But there are fears within Canadian rugby that missing out on the next World Cup would undermine all the hard work being done to develop the sport.

“I give credit to Morgan [Williams] and our guys because they sure worked their bag off today and it shows that with the right preparation we can compete with the best teams in the world,” said Suggitt.

“We are not shy about what we want to achieve and we will keep backing ourselves. No matter what all the critics say and all the naysayers say about the segregation of rugby, they can go stuff themselves.”

Canada face Fiji next and need two victories to secure third place in Pool B and allay their fears over 2011 by guaranteeing qualification.

“That first half was the best performance I have ever seen in a Canadian squad,” said skipper Williams.

“We need to string together a full 80-minute game instead of playing for just 50 minutes.

“Like Ric said, we have to do that for a full 80 minutes – but when we do that we will put those naysayers to bed.”

365 Digital

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