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Canada defeats U.S. in Rugby World Cup qualifier

The Canadian Press

8/18/2013 9:24:29 AM

CHARLESTON, S.C. -- Canada moved one step closer to the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England with a 27-9 victory over the United States in the qualifying series opener on Saturday.

Phil Mack, DTH van der Merwe and Harry Jones each scored tries for Canada while fullback James Pritchard added 12 points.

Canada will take an 18-point advantage into next week's qualifying series finale at BMO Field in Toronto.

"Certainly we've got a lot of work to do before next Saturday, but I'm really happy with the way we stuck through it." said head coach Kieran Crowley.

The Canadians got off to a quick start when Mack took a pass from van der Merwe and chipped the ball over the defender before diving over the line for the first score of the game. Pritchard added the conversion to make it 7-0.

Pritchard expanded Canada's lead to 10-0 with a long-range penalty goal in the 14th minute, and added another three points at the 38-minute mark to give Canada a 13-0 lead at halftime.

Jones scored Canada's second try of the game and Pritchard added the conversion to make it 20-3. Canada's final try of the game came from van der Merwe at the 60-minute mark.

Chris Wyles scored all nine points for the Eagles.