VANCOUVER (Reuters) – The United States will head off to the Rugby World Cup with a spring in their collective step after beating Canada for the third time this year on Saturday, coming from behind to claim a dramatic 20-15 victory at BC Place.
Eagles winger Martin Iosefo broke a 15-15 tie with a try eight minutes from time to complete the comeback and add another win over their neighbours to those they secured in Seattle and Denver earlier this year.
The Canucks started at a blistering pace with two unanswered tries in the first 16 minutes through halfbacks Gordon McRorie and Peter Nelson and kept the visitors on the backfoot by putting boot to ball.
Flyhalf Will Magie finally got the United States on the scoreboard with a 20th minute penalty and number eight Cam Dolan peeled off a dominant scrum to touch down for a converted try that cut the deficit to 12-10 at the break.
Nelson nailed a long-range penalty at the start of the second half for Canada but U.S hooker Dylan Fawsitt scored off the back of a rolling maul seconds after coming off the bench to tie up the scores with 30 minutes to play.
The United States kept up the pressure but the Canadians held them off with some desperate defence until the last 10 minutes, when the Eagles secured a turnover and moved the ball out wide for Iosefo to race away and score.
The United States play England in their World Cup Pool C opener in Kobe on Sept. 26 with Canada getting their Pool B campaign underway against Italy in Fukuoka earlier the same day.
(Reporting by Nick Mulvenney in Sydney, editing by Peter Rutherford)