The Canadian captain, Gareth Rees, inspired his team to victory over Romania in their opening Pool A match in Port Elizabeth last night with another splendid display of kicking. That is his forte but the stand-off also had a hand in all three of his side's tries.
Rees, making a record 32nd appearance for his country, scored 19 points from the boot with two conversions, four penalties and a drop goal to put Canada level on points on top of the pool with South Africa after the first round of matches.
All three Canadian tries were the product of quick hands and fine support play. Their first try came after 20 minutes when their prop Rod Snow, winning only his second cap, ran in from close range after driving play by the pack.
The flanker Al Charron capped a fine running movement with a 30-yard run for a try midway through the second half and No 8 Colin McKenzie added a third soon after.
Romania, outplayed for most of the game, managed only a penalty from their stand-off Nicolae Nichitean. With South Africa and Australia to play they look likely to return home without a point.
CANADA: S Stewart (Univ of BC OB); W Stanley (Univ of BC OB), C Stewart (Univ of BC OB), S Gray (Vancouver Kats), D Lougheed (Toronto Welsh); G Rees (Newport, capt), J Graf (Univ of BC OB); C McKenzie (Univ of BC OB), I Gordon (James Bay), A Charron (Ottawa Irish), M James (Burnaby Lake), G Ennis (Vancouver Kats), R Snow (Dogs), M Cardinal (James Bay), E Evans (Univ of BC OB).
ROMANIA: G Solomie (Univ of Timisoara); L Colceriu (Steaua Bucharest), N Raceanu (Univ of Cluj), R Gontineac (Univ of Cluj), I Rotaru (Dinamo Bucharest); N Nichitean (Univ of Cluj), D Neaga (Dinamo Bucharest); G Leonte (Viene, Fr), I Negreci (CFR Constanta), G Vlad, S Ciorascu (Auch, Fr; capt), C Cojocariu (Bayonne, Fr), T Oroian (Steaua Bucharest), O Slusariuc (Dinamo Bucharest), A Gealapu (Steaua Bucharest).
Referee: C Hawke (New Zealand).