Canada loses to Samoa on final play at Pacific Nations Cup

Samoan Anthony Perenise evades a tackle from Canadian Ray Barkwill in their match in Toronto. Photo: The Canadian Press

Samoan Anthony Perenise evades a tackle from Canadian Ray Barkwill in their match in Toronto. Photo: The Canadian Press

TORONTO – Samoa scored a last-second try to hand Canada a crushing 21-20 defeat in the Pacific Nations Cup rugby tournament Wednesday.

Canada had seemed destined for victory after Phil Mackenzie’s slashing run for a try in the 75th minute lifted the home side to a 20-16 lead.

But after Canada stole a Samoan lineout on the Canadian goalline with the clock running down, two Canadians collided and the ball spilled loose, only for Samoa’s Sakaria Taulafo to dive on it for the winning try.

Samoa, the highest-ranked team in the tournament at No. 9, will meet No. 10 Fiji in Monday’s final in Burnaby, B.C.

Mackenzie, with an assist from teammate Connor Trainor, put Canada ahead after he got to a long cross-field kick from Nathan Hirayama that landed just outside Samoa’s 22-metre line and beat a string of defenders to the goalline. James Pritchard’s conversion added to the lead.

Until then, it had looked like Michael Stanley’s long-range kicking would lift Samoa to a comeback win.

  • The Canadian Press

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