Canada edges Tonga in seesawing World Cup match
Updated: September 14, 2011, 02:47
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WHANGAREI, New Zealand(AP) Winger Phil McKenzie scooted over in the 73rd minute as Canada opened its campaign with a seesawing 25-20 win over Tonga on Wednesday, extending its unbeaten run against the Pacific islanders at the Rugby World Cup.
Aided by a strong tailwind, Canada took a 10-0 lead after 26 minutes and seemed to have the measure of the bigger Tongan lineup, but conceded a try on the stroke of halftime to surrender the ascendancy.
Center Siale Piutau crossed twice as Tonga scored 20 of the next 23 points before Canada responded again with two late tries, then defended its five-point lead for the last seven minutes to clinch the vital Pool A win.
Canada has beaten Tonga in all three World Cup head-to-heads, dating back to the inaugural tournament here in 1987.