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Langford-based Canadian national rugby team crushed by Scotland

The Scots ran up a 24-5 lead at the half before really bringing down the house in the second half.
Canada’s Peter Nelson is tackled by Scotland’s Gus Warr during the first half in Ottawa on Saturday. SEAN KILPATRICK, THE CANADIAN PRESS

The Langford-based Canadian men’s team discovered just how big a gulf lies between a Six Nations side and a rugby minnow in a 73-12 loss to Scotland before 11,447 fans at TD Place Stadium in Ottawa on Saturday.

Even more humbling was that world No. 6 Scotland left many of its star players at home in the match-up against No. 21 Canada.

“Even without some of their well-known players, Scotland is still a quality side with players coming from high leagues around the world, and this is a step up for us,” Canada captain Lucas Rumball told the Times Colonist, before the game.

He proved prescient, as the Scots ran up a 24-5 lead at the half before really bringing down the house in the second half. Rumball, in giving Canada a 5-0 lead that evaporated spectacularly, and Kyle Baillie scored the Canadian tries while Peter Nelson had a convert.

Canada head coach Kingsley Jones of Sooke said he saw the Test as the start of the buildup to the 2027 World Cup in Australia, for which the qualifying process begins next year. It was evident Saturday that work needs to be done.

“The players are pretty devastated, the staff as well. It’s hard. We want to win,” Jones said in a statement.

“We talk about it, but the reality is today, without the ball, we weren’t good enough. It’s difficult for all of us. We really want to do better. The scoreline in the end is pretty disappointing.”

Canada plays world No. 20 Romania in Ottawa on Friday night. That will be more of a relevant Test against the sort of nations Canada needs to beat in order to get back to the World Cup, after missing the global tournament in 2023, for the first time in its history.

“There’s six new caps, it’s the start of something special for those guys,” said Jones, of bringing along a new generation out of the Langford-based national U-23 Pacific Pride program.

“The Pride serves its purpose.”

But that may be more for the 2031 World Cup in the U.S. than for Australia 2027. Canada needs answers now.

“We needed possession [Saturday]. We need a good lineout, a good ball and a good defence for Canada. We need to improve in those areas in the next five days [for the Romania Test],” said Jones.

“The next five days is about fixing what we see from that.”

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