9th October 2011
Full Match Report
South Africa prepared for their forthcoming Atlantic Group 2013 Rugby League World Cup Qualifiers with a 36-22 win against Canada in Toronto. The visitors scored first early on and led 16-10 at half time after scoring three tries to two. Although not much was known about them prior to the match, the South Africans, 26th in the new RLIF world rankings, proved to be big, fast and strong.
South Africa's better overall fitness also turned out to be a telling factor late in the game when Canada began to show signs of tiring. Despite a brace by Canadian fullback Robin Legault, the Rhinos eventually outscored the Wolverines by seven tries to four to clinch the victory and were never behind.
The closest Canada got was to trail 22-26 when they scored their final try in the 68th minute, but two more South African touchdowns in the final 10 minutes sealed the morale boosting win. The South African attack was led by Stevie Myer, who bagged a pair of tries. Other scorers were Rupert Wells, Christo Louw, Johan Fritz, Hans du Plessis and Christof Swanepoel. Francois Greyvensteyn converted all of the tries.
"Great game, tough opposition," said South African head coach Steven van Zyl. "Very physical, a good confidence booster for the World Cup Qualifiers."
Apart from Legault's two-try effort, other Canadians to get over the try line were Geoff Bylund and Enoch Wamalwa. Kale Hutchings added two conversions, while Graham Dobbs slotted another. Going into the game, the 21st-ranked Canadians were unbeaten at home this season.
"I don't think it was a shock at all," remarked Canada Rugby League chairman Eric Perez. "The standard of rugby union is really high there and their guys could get union contracts if they wanted to but they're committed to rugby league. It was probably the most exciting game of the year for us."
The match was a warm-up for South Africa, which now moves on to the Rugby League World Cup Qualifiers in Philadelphia starting next week. The Rhinos clash with the hosts USA Tomahawks first up on Saturday, October 15.
Robin Legault, Tony Felix, Geoff Bylund, Tyler Allen, Kale Hutchings, Matt Wyles, Jamie Lester, Cam Grace, Chris Diamond, Ruairi McGoff, Enoch Wamalwa, Henry Miers, Trent Hansen. Subs: Graham Dobbs, Christian Miller, Steve Lamb, Rob Autagavaia
Christof Swanepoel, Rupert Wells, Henry du Toit, Hans du Plessis, Johan Fritz, Francois Greyvensteyn, Andre Loader (c), Christo Louw, Gerhard Slabber, Christo Joubert, Rudolf Prinsloo, Jonathon Soares, Stevie Meyer. Subs: Pieter van der Nest, Riaan Engelbrecht, Jean-Pierre Nel, Gerhard de Wet