Japan coach counts cost of late slip
Ander Monro scored a try in the 75th minute and kicked a penalty four minutes later as Canada salvaged a draw in Napier to deny Japan their first World Cup win in 20 years.
Japan led a scrappy contest 23-15 with five minutes remaining but could not hang on. The teams also drew 12-12 at the 2007 World Cup -- Japan's previous best result since their win over Zimbabwe at the 1991 tournament.
Monro missed two conversions after replacing the injured James Pritchard as goalkicker, but nailed the penalty when it mattered in the 79th minute.
"I thought we should have won it," Japan coach John Kirwan said. "I don't know whether to be happy or sad. The boys played their hearts out. We had a good lead but a few errors in the second half cost us.
"We needed to get down there, put a bit more pressure on and get some points. They kept coming back at us and got the draw."
Canada captain Pat Riordan was off the field late in the second half and had to watch the comeback from the sidelines. "Great play by the boys, great fight at the end to come back," he said. "We got out of it with a couple of points." (© Daily Telegraph, London)
Canada -- J Pritchard (C Trainor 21); M Evans, DTH van der Merwe, R Smith, P Mackenzie; A Monro, E Fairhurst (S White 71); H Buydens, P Riordan (capt, R Hamilton 60), J Marshall (S Franklin 67), J Sinclair, J Cudmore (T Hotson 74), A Kleeberger, A Carpenter, C O'Toole (J Kyne 64). Tries: Van der Merwe, Mackenzie, Monro. Cons: Pritchard. Pens: Monro 2.
Japan -- S Webb (M Williams 73); K Endo, A Tupuailei (B Robins 13), R Nicholas, H Onozawa; J Arlidge, F Tanaka (A Hiwasa 64); H Hirashima, S Horie, N Fujita (K Hatakeyama 25), L Thompson, T Kitagawa (T Taufa 64), S Vatuvei (H Ono 64), M Leitch, T Kikutani (capt). Tries: Horie, Endo. Cons: Arlidge 2. Pens: Arlidge 3.
Ref -- J Kaplan (South Africa).