Written by Press Release    Monday, 12 September 2011 15:38    PDF Print Write e-mail
RWC Match Facts: Canada v Tonga
Canada - Men

AUCKLAND, 12 Sept. - Key facts and figures for the Rugby World Cup 2011 Pool A match between Tonga and Canada at Northland Events Centre, Whangarei, on Wednesday 14 September.

Head-to-head

- Tonga and Canada have played on five previous occasions with Canada winning three and Tonga two.

- Tonga and Canada have met twice at the Rugby World Cup with Canada winning both matches, by an average of 25 points.

- The first RWC match between the two was the first RWC match for each team, opening their RWC 1987 campaigns in New Zealand.

- Tonga's highest score and biggest win against Canada was the 40-14 result in the first match between the two in 1974.

- Canada's highest score and biggest win against Tonga was the RWC 1987 clash which the Canucks won 37-4.

- Tonga's first half in the RWC 1987 clash and second half in the RWC 2003 match are the only scoreless halves in matches between these two.

- Both teams have scored at least one try each time these teams have met.

- Two players from each country have scored two tries in a match between Tonga and Canada. No player has ever scored a hat-trick of tries.

- Canada have won the last two meetings between these teams.

Tonga

- Ranked No.12 in the world, their best ever ranking.

- Tonga have played at five of the six previous Rugby World Cups, missing only the 1991 edition.

- They won one match at each of the 1995 and 1999 tournaments and won two matches for the first time in 2007.

- They have recorded four of their five narrowest Rugby World Cup losses at the 2003 and 2007 editions.

- They have lost their last three RWC matches. Twice they have recorded five-match losing streaks.

- Tonga have alternated wins and losses in their past seven matches, losing the last one 41-10 against New Zealand in the RWC 2011 opener.

- Are one of eight teams at RWC 2011 with a better than 50% winning percentage in 2011.

- Of the teams at RWC 2011, Tonga have the third lowest winning percentage in matches since RWC 2007, winning less than 39 per cent of their matches in that period.

Canada

- Ranked No.14 in the world, their best position since mid-November 2009 when they were No.13.

- Have won a match at every RWC except 2007 where their best result was a 12-12 draw against Japan.

- Have progressed beyond the pool stage at a RWC just once - 1991 - yet 2007 was the first time that they finished at the bottom of their pool.

- Have failed to win a RWC match since their 24-7 win over Tonga in their final RWC 2003 match. A fifth consecutive winless match would be their longest such streak at the RWC.

- Have scored 387 RWC points. Thirteen more can make them the 12th team to score 400.

- Are undefeated in 2011. Georgia are the only other RWC 2011 team in that position.

- Have won seven of their eight matches in 2010 and 2011, averaging 4.5 tries per match. Japan is the only RWC 2011 team to have averaged more throughout that period.

The venue

- Northland Events Centre will host two match at RWC 2011 - Tonga v Canada and Tonga v Japan.

- It has never hosted a Test match before but has hosted international teams. The New Zealand Maori beat Tonga at the venue in 1998 and Northland have hosted the British and Irish Lions, Tonga, Samoa and Fiji at the venue in recent years.

- Canada's only victory in New Zealand was their defeat of Tonga in RWC 1987.

- It is the home to the Northland rugby union.

The line-ups

- Tonga have made 11 changes to their line-up from the side that started against New Zealand in their RWC 2011 opener. This is the most Tonga have ever made between matches at a Rugby World Cup.

- Tonga's starting XV is their second oldest RWC line-up. Only their side that faced New Zealand a few days ago was older.

- Ephraim Taukafa is the only Tongan in the match day 22 that played the last time these sides met, at RWC 2003. He is Tonga's starting hooker again.

- There are four Canadian survivors from that RWC 2003 match. Jamie Cudmore is again in the starting line-up, this time as a second row, while Ed Fairhurst, Ryan Smith and James Pritchard are now in the starting XV having all come on as replacements in 2003.

- Canada have made two changes to their line-up from their final warm-up match against USA. Smith starts at inside centre having come off the bench in both warm-up matches against USA, while Fairhurst is back at scrum half after missing the final warm-up fixture because of work commitments. Ciaran Hearn and Adam Kleeberger are retained at right wing and blindside flanker respectively after coming on as replacements in Canada's first warm-up match against USA.

- Canada's starting XV, with an average age of 28 years 249 days on Wednesday, is their oldest RWC line-up since the 2003 match against Tonga.

- Tonga's Kurt Morath will look to return to his high-scoring ways. His five points against New Zealand in the RWC 2011 opener was the lowest individual match tally of his Test career. Before that match he had scored a minimum of 11 points in every Test he had played and at least 13 points in each of the eight Tests he had started.