Canada begin tour with victory
November 1, 2008
Canada's James Pritchard scored the match-winning try for the tourists
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Canada kicked off their end of year tour with a narrow 21-13 victory over Portugal at the Stadio Universitaire in Lisbon.
The visitors led 11-10 at half-time with Adam Kleeberger and Pedro Silva having dotted down for Canada and Portugal respectively. James Pritchard stretched the Canucks' lead after the break with his third penalty of the game and the fullback later grabbed a long-range try to cement their advantage.
Silva, who scored all of his side's points, kicked a second penalty to reduce the arrears but that was as close as they got. Canada coach Kieran Crowley' was satisfied with the win but admitted that he was frustrated at the lack of possession.
"Portugal really took it to us in the second half and we really didn't have that many opportunities. I think our defence was great and really kept Portugal out of the game, but we needed the ball more if we wanted to really open the match up."
Portugal coach Tomaz Morais was left to rue his side's failure to turn territorial advantage into points. "We are down 14-10 and five metres out - in control, and then boom - Canada takes it the other way, very hard for the players," he said.
Canada skipper Pat Riordan said, "We didn't do all the things we wanted to do. We didn't do all the things as well as we wanted to do. But we did some good things and we did some things well. We bounced back after some bad periods. We held on to the ball a couple of times for eight or nine phases. I think for us it shows the growing composure. We talked about building pressure from phase play and in the past when we got to the higher number of phases we tend to break down.
"Part of it was lack of composure and a bit of fitness. I think we are definitely fitter than we were at the Churchill Cup and we are growing together. It shows that the individual players as well as the team is growing. There is times when at those higher phases your typical play makers weren't available."
Canada's tour will also see them take on Wales (November 14) and Scotland (November 22).
Canada: (11) 21
Portugal: (10) 13
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