Canada, Namibia rue missed shot at rare Rugby World Cup win – TSN

Canada, Namibia rue missed shot at rare Rugby World Cup win - TSN
Rugby World Cup game featuring Canadian team cancelled due to Japan typhoon
Canada will leave the Rugby World Cup winless for the second straight tournament, with the weather tying its hands this time.

"I think it's still sinking in," a disappointed Canada coach Kingsley Jones said. "It's a unique situation at test [match] level. It doesn't happen very often, if ever. But it's happened."

“People of Kamaishi have obviously gone through so much. For them to host a World Cup game I think means a lot to them, but also a lot to us, because we understand the significance of it,” he said. “I think we really wanted to put on a special game for everyone. Its really unfortunate that these things happen because the people of Kamaishi deserve so much more.”

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World Rugby issued a statement saying an evacuation order remained in place in the Kamaishi area and there had been landslides and flooding in the vicinity of the stadium.

After World Cup organizers announced the cancelation of the match due to the impact of Typhoon Hagibis, the Canadians employed shovels to help local residents remove mud from their driveways and cleanup a house that was flooded as a result of the heavy rain.

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"The safety of all involved in Rugby World Cup 2019 is our primary consideration and fans are advised not to travel to Kamaishi or the venue, which will be closed," World Rugby said.

The Canadian team, which is slated to leave for home Monday, was restricted to its hotel early Sunday.

Two of Saturday's three scheduled games — New Zealand against Italy and England against France — were cancelled well before the destructive typhoon made landfall. Organizers eventually decided to go ahead with Scotland versus Japan in Yokohama later Sunday.

Canada, ranked 22nd in the world, had targeted the game against No. 23 Namibia as its best chance at a victory.

“We were just disappointed that we couldnt play. Weve really targeted this game and wanted a good game out of it, but unfortunately we couldnt,” he said. “But weve made the most of it. Weve come out in the community.”

Both teams had previously lost to No. 1 New Zealand, No. 5 South Africa and No. 12 Italy. While the teams were tied at two points apiece, Namibia finished fourth in the pool ahead of Canada on points difference (minus-141 for Namibia and minus-163 for Canada).

"We completely understand the decision given the conditions we're facing here," Canadian media manager Gareth Rees said in a video showing the wind-whipped waves on Kamaishi.

“I wanted to express my appreciation to all of those who helped with the reconstruction effort,” she said. “The cancelation is disappointing, but we know for a fact that safety is the priority.”

"Following extensive discussions with World Rugby, Kamaishi City and Iwate Prefecture, during which we considered every possibility to make this game happen, in the end we had no option but to cancel the match to ensure the safety of the fans, team, volunteers, and all others involved," organizing committee chief executive Akira Shimazu said.

Until the 2015 edition in England, they had one win, two draws and 21 losses since competing in the inaugural World Cup in 1987. That win against the Springboks brought the curtain down on a 24-year winless record since a victory against Zimbabwe in 1991 in Belfast.

"It was both a difficult and emotional decision to make, however I feel it's the right decision and firmly believe both domestic and foreign fans will understand the decision was made to ensure safety."

The Brave Blossoms, who won all four pool-stage games in the tournament, only became a potential threat at the 2015 tournament where they finished with three wins including a victory over South Africa that was seen as one of the biggest upsets in rugby history.

The Canadian men, who went 0-4-0 at the 2015 tournament, have not won a game at the world Cup since a 25-20 victory over Tonga at the 2011 competition. They have lost their last eight tournament matches, outscored 387-87 in the process.

There were high hopes for Seiji Hirao and his team in 1999 as they headed to Wales as the Pacific Nations Cup champions but once again they returned home winless. The World Cup in Australia in 2003 also saw Japan without a point to their name.

The Japan Meteorological Agency had forecast the typhoon to be the worst to hit Japan in six decades. It brought heavy rainfall in wide areas of Japan all day ahead of its landfall early Saturday evening, and continued to batter parts of the main island with heavy winds and torrents of rain overnight.

The first Rugby World Cup in New Zealand and Australia was an invitational affair and Japan were, as they have been ever since, Asias lone representative. Their run ended with three losses against the United States, England and Australia.

An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 5.7 shook the areas drenched by the rainfall, shortly before the typhoon made landfall in Shizuoka prefecture.

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Japan lost 57-10 to Wales, 50-28 to Ireland before New Zealand ran in 21 tries in a 145-17 thrashing of Japan — a result more embarrassing given it was mainly a second-string All Blacks side.

Canada will leave the Rugby World Cup winless for the second straight tournament, with the weather tying its hands this time.

But they became the first team to fail to advance to the quarterfinals at the World Cup despite winning three pool-stage matches. Japan ended third in Pool B behind South Africa and Scotland.

Tournament organizers decided to cancel Canada’s final Pool B game against Namibia because of Typhoon Hagibis. The game was due to take place Sunday in Kamaishi (late Saturday night in Canada).

“Following extensive discussions with World Rugby, Kamaishi City and Iwate Prefecture, during which we considered every possibility to make this game happen, we had no option but to cancel the match to ensure the safety of the fans, team, volunteers, and all others involved,” organizing committee chief executive Akira Shimazu said. “It was both a difficult and emotional decision to make, however, I feel its the right decision and firmly believe both domestic and foreign fans will understand the decision was made to ensure safety.”

World Rugby issued a statement saying an evacuation order remained in place in the Kamaishi area and there had been landslides and flooding in the vicinity of the stadium.

The Kamaishi stadium was built on the site where two schools sat before they were washed away on March 11, 2011, when the town was devastated by a magnitude-9 earthquake and tsunami that killed just over 1,000 local people. Uruguay had an upset win over Fiji at the stadium earlier in the tournament, when the tragedy of nine years ago was memorialized by the presence of Japans Crown Prince Akishino among the sold-out crowd of 14,000.

“The safety of all involved in Rugby World Cup 2019 is our primary consideration and fans are advised not to travel to Kamaishi or the venue, which will be closed,” World Rugby said.

Japans unbeaten run through the pool stage, including a comeback win over an Irish team that was ranked No. 1 ahead of the tournament, has captured the countrys imagination. Head coach Jamie Joseph on Friday said his team wanted the game to go ahead just as much as Scotland did, so it could prove it belonged among the eight best teams in the sport.

Two of Saturday’s three scheduled games were cancelled well before the destructive typhoon made landfall and organizers will assess conditions in Yokohama before making a decision on Japan’s last Pool A game against Scotland later Sunday.

While the New Zealand-Italy and England-France games were canceled without much backlash, Scottish rugby officials exerted more pressure on organizers after expressing frustration that there hadnt been enough contingency built into the schedule to cater for the potentially extreme conditions in the first Rugby World Cup staged in Asia.

Two of Saturday’s three scheduled games — New Zealand against Italy and England against France — were cancelled well before the destructive typhoon made landfall. Organizers will assess conditions in Yokohama before making a decision on Japan’s last Pool A game against Scotland later Sunday.

Canada, ranked 22nd in the world, had targeted the game against No. 23 Namibia as its best chance at a victory.

Rugby World Cup organizers made the decision at 6 a.m. local time to cancel the last Pool B game between Canada and Namibia, which was set to be played at Kamaishi Recovery Memorial Stadium. An evacuation order remained in place in the area and there had been landslides and flooding near the stadium in northeastern Japan.

Both teams had previously lost to No. 1 New Zealand, No. 5 South Africa and No. 12 Italy. While the teams were tied at two points apiece, Namibia finished fourth in the pool ahead of Canada on points difference (minus-141 for Namibia and minus-163 for Canada).

“We completely understand the decision given the conditions we’re facing here,” Canadian media manager Gareth Rees said in a video showing the wind-whipped waves on Kamaishi.

World Rugby an hour later confirmed the U.S.-Tonga game at Hanazono Stadium in Osaka and the Wales-Uruguay game at Kumamoto had been given the all clear, but took several more hours to make the decision on the crucial Pool A game between Japan and Scotland. Tonga beat the United States 31-19 in Osaka.

“Following extensive discussions with World Rugby, Kamaishi City and Iwate Prefecture, during which we considered every possibility to make this game happen, in the end we had no option but to cancel the match to ensure the safety of the fans, team, volunteers, and all others involved,” organizing committee chief executive Akira Shimazu said.

“It was both a difficult and emotional decision to make, however I feel it’s the right decision and firmly believe both domestic and foreign fans will understand the decision was made to ensure safety.”

The Canadian men, who went 0-4-0 at the 2015 tournament, have not won a game at the world Cup since a 25-20 victory over Tonga at the 2011 competition. They have lost their last eight tournament matches, outscored 387-87 in the process.

The Japan Meteorological Agency had forecast the typhoon to be the worst to hit Japan in six decades. It brought heavy rainfall in wide areas of Japan all day ahead of its landfall early Saturday evening, and continued to batter parts of the main island with heavy winds and torrents of rain overnight.

An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 5.7 shook the areas drenched by the rainfall, shortly before the typhoon made landfall in Shizuoka prefecture.