After surviving brawl in Georgia, Canadian rugby team looks to Romania test

Send to a friend

Send this article to a friend.

After surviving a brawl against Georgia last weekend, Canada hopes to stick to rugby on Saturday when it takes on Romania in Bucharest.

The ugly fight last Saturday in Tbilisi was triggered when Georgian flanker Vito Kolelishvili clotheslined Canadian fly half Liam Underwood as he ran at the Georgia defence at the 36-minute mark. Underwood's feet went flying in front of him as he dropped to the turf.

Canadian captain Tyler Ardron confronted the Georgian and the brawl began, with several Canadians engulfed in packs of Georgia players. Almost every player on the field got involved, with several mini-clashes breaking out as Canadian trainers tended to the prone Underwood.

Kolelishvili and Ardron were both red-carded when peace was restored. At least one Canadian was bloodied.

A dazed Underwood was helped off the field after receiving treatment. Canadian hooker Ray Barkwill, injured in the melee, also needed help to limp off.

The game was tied 9-9 when the incident happened. Canada went ahead 12-9 on the ensuing penalty but eventually lost 19-15.

"(The) high tackle was very bad," Canadian coach Kieran Crowley said in an email from Bucharest to The Canadian Press. "The initial reaction of Tyler Ardron was natural for the North American (hockey) mentality where they all go in and just grab one another.

"What followed that was uncalled for. We need to learn that the referee will deal with the initial incident and we should leave alone. Tyler would have learned from his actions."

Underwood has not trained since due to concussion symptoms. Barkwill is unavailable for Saturday's game and is in doubt for next week's tour finale against Portugal in Lisbon.

Ardron has already gone through an IRB disciplinary hearing, escaping further sanctions because he did not throw a punch, according to Crowley. The Georgia player was also to have a hearing.

"To be honest some of our players came off the worst for wear in that incident ... Up until then I believe we had momentum in the game after that the momentum shifted," Crowley said.

The loss dropped Canada one spot in the world rankings to No. 15, overtaken by Japan. Georgia remained at No. 16. Romania is ranked 17th while Portugal in No. 22.

Canada has won two of its three meetings with Romania but lost last time out, a 22-20 decision in Bucharest in 2005.

The Canadian men won 19-11 at the 1991 World Cup in France and 34-3 at the 1995 World Cup in South Africa.

Romania has not lost a test match this year, winning eight and tying Georgia 9-9.

England's Greg Garner will referee Saturday's match.

Organizations: Canadian Press, North American

Geographic location: Georgia, Romania, Canada Bucharest Tbilisi Portugal Lisbon Japan France South Africa England

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Thanks for voting!

Top of page