Rugby Union: Canadians fail their Mensah test

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The Independent Online
London . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .25

Canada A. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9

IN THE words of their manager, the Canadians are here to 'grow and develop' rather than win matches. Just as well, as last night's at The Stoop was their third defeat in four matches and the one they won, at Newbridge last week, was by a fortuitous point.

But that is not the point. Canada, worthy quarter-finalists in the 1991 World Cup, seem to believe they can do as well in South Africa next year. After all, who were the last team to beat Wales?

Last night, they fielded two internationals, Ron Toews and Glen Ennis, to London's two - England old boys Huw Davies and Steve Bates. But the balance of skill was heavily in the division's favour.

Canada seek strength in depth. London have a considerable amount of their own, though they went beyond their usual catchment when they plucked Peter Mensah from the obscurity of Old Millhillians, where on this evidence he does not look as if he will be staying long.

Mensah's intelligence with the ball tested Canada more than most that London offered, though the division did break through for three tries to put the game beyond Canada.

London: Tries Bates, Greenwood, Botterman; Conversions Gregory 2; Penalties Gregory 2. Canada A: Penalties Phillips 3.

LONDON: H Davies (Wasps); P Mensah (Old Millhillians), S Ravenscroft (Saracens), G Thompson, J Alexander (Harlequins); G Gregory (Nottingham), S Bates (capt); G Holmes (Wasps), G Botterman (Saracens), A Mullins, A Snow (Harlequins), W Davison (Rosslyn Park), M Russell (Harlequins), M Greenwood (Wasps), R Jenkins (London Irish). Replacement: M White (Wasps) for Russell, 69.

CANADA A: R Phillips (Univ of British Columbia); J Penaluna (Univ of Victoria), S Lytton, R Toews (Meralomas), J Probe (Velox Valhallians); S Pettigrew (Balmy Beach), M O'Regan (Univ of Victoria); D Penney (Swilers), S Hendry (Balmy Beach), N Clapinson (Ste Anne-de-Bellevue), I Middleton (Oakville Crusaders), G Rowlands (Velox Valhallians), M James (Burnaby), G Ennis (Suntory, capt), R Mullin (Meralomas). Replacement: J Wheeler (Cole Harbour) for Penaluna, 39.

Referee: D Davies (Llanbradach).