RUGBY WORLD CUP REACTION: Canada insist they can still make last eight

Ireland's Luke Fitzgerald (right) gets tackled by Canada
Ireland's Luke Fitzgerald (right) gets tackled by Canada

Canada insist they can upset the odds and qualify for the World Cup quarter-finals in spite leaking seven tries in a 50-7 defeat to Ireland in Cardiff.

The Canucks paid the price for Jamie Cudmore’s cheap yellow card, which the captain branded “a big mistake”, with Ireland running in three tries in that pivotal 10 minutes.

Head coach Kieran Crowley and Clermont hardman Cudmore accepted their shortcomings against Ireland, but quickly targeted victory over Italy in their second World Cup match.

Canada will face the Azzurri at Leed’s Elland Road next Saturday, claiming confidence in their continuing World Cup battle.

“The aim now is to finish second and qualify for the quarter-finals,” said Crowley.

“We’ll watch Italy’s game with France tonight with interest. We firmly believe we can do it, otherwise we wouldn’t be here.”

Ireland claimed the bonus point through scoring their fourth try just 35 minutes into Saturday’s Cardiff match, leaving Canada unable to keep pace.

Crowley’s men refused to be cowed, however, sticking to their wide-running style and producing snatches of highly-enterprising play.

Italy will enter the Leeds match-up as firm favourites, but Cudmore is adamant Canada are by no means out of the World Cup running after just one defeat.

Clermont lock Cudmore took full responsibility for the yellow card for illegally handling the ball in a ruck, before quickly turning attention to the Italy clash.

“I think I was just trying to stop the try and the ball squirted out there,” said Cudmore.

“I don’t know whether it got punched out, someone kicked it or what.

“But I got dinged for it, I paid the price, that’s on me and it’s a big mistake. We leaked too many points when I was off the field.

“We’re not here to make up the numbers, we want to take on and beat some of the best teams in the world.

“We know we can go and beat Italy but we also know we’ve got a huge amount of work to do to get things right and be in that position.”