MARSEILLE, France, Nov 25 – Canada sealed their qualification for next year’s rugby World Cup with a 27-10 victory over Hong Kong in muddy Marseille on Friday.
“We’ll see you in Japan next year,” tweeted Canada Rugby after the last game of a four-team repechage.
Canada secured their ninth consecutive appearance at the World Cup by sweeping three nations all trying to qualify for the first time.
The Canucks beat Kenya (42-17) and Germany (29-10) before facing top-seed Hong Kong who needed to secure a bonus-point victory while denying the Canadians a bonus point.
In a game played in a downpour, 38-year old hooker Ray Barkwill scored an early try for Canada. Star winger DTH van der Merwe of Glasgow Warriors also touched down twice for Canada with Conor Hartley scoring Hong Kong’s lone try.
“A really professional performance today,” said Kingsley Jones, the Canada coach in an interview tweeted by Canada Rugby. “Was real clinical.”
“The most pleasing part was the winning habit just closing the game out and getting the result that we needed.”
Canada will go into Pool B in Japan where they will face reigning champions New Zealand, South Africa, Italy and Namibia.
“Something we worked for very hard,” said Welshman Jones. “Super-excited to qualify.”