Suggitt puts on a brave face

Despite his side’s 37-6 defeat to Australia in Bordeaux on Saturday, Canada coach Ric Suggitt praised his team’s efforts and put a positive spin of a winless World Cup campaign.

In a match interspersed by torrential downpours, the Wallabies crossed for six tries with wing Drew Mitchell scoring twice and Al Baxter, Adam Freier, George Smith and Chris Latham all posting touchdowns.

But it was far from the free-flowing display for which Connolly might have hoped, especially as he had hinted some places, especially on the bench, were still up for grabs.

It means Canada go home having failed to win a World Cup match for the first time in their history, their only meagre success being a 12-12 draw against Japan.

But they did manage to win the pride and respect demanded by scrum-half and captain Morgan Williams who was one of three retirees from international rugby when the final whistle blew, the others being Rod Snow and Mike James.

“I love winning but the improvement the team has shown over the last 15 months has pleased me,” said Suggett.

“I’m a pretty happy guy. Credit to our guys, they got stuck in. We competed very well. They did not slaughter us. It was not a runaway game.”

In a now familiar parting refrain, Suggitt also urged the International Rugby Board (IRB) not to reduce the number of ‘lesser’ teams in future World Cups.

“If they are giving us money to prepare for a World Cup why take four teams away?” he asked.

“Tonga have been competitive and so have the United States.

“We came here to get to the quarter-final, and with a bit of luck we could have been battling for a quarter-final spot instead of going home with the big ‘nought’.”

365 Digital

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