History repeats itself as Japan and Canada draw
Canada came from behind to snatch a thrilling 23-23 draw with Japan in their Rugby World Cup Pool A match in Napier.
It was the second time in as many World Cups the two teams had played out a draw, after a 12-12 result in France four years ago.
James Arlidge had the chance to win the match for Japan with a minute to play, but his drop-goal attempt from 30m out sailed well wide of the posts.
In front of 14,335 fans, Canada got the ascendancy early through a try from DTH van der Merwe that James Pritchard converted.
Undeterred, Japan struck back almost immediately as centre Alisi Tupuailai charged down the blindside, and after good work by inside centre Ryan Nicholas and flanker Sione Vatuvei, it was hooker Shota Horie who finally secured the ball to drive over for the try.
A converted try late in the first half from Kosuke Endo put Japan 17-7 up at the break.
Canada survived an early second-half onslaught to post their own points through Phil McKenzie, with Ander Monro converting to pull it back to 17-15.
However, that was negated almost immediately when prop Jason Marshall conceded 10m after an initial award for off-side, by refusing to release the ball to Japan.
Japan kicked clear again, and two more penalties from Arlidge had them 23-15 in front with just minutes remaining.
However, a grandstand finish was assured when Canada put together a long-distance assault and after van der Merwe and Adam Kleeburger went close to scoring, prop Hubert Buydens crossed to reduce the margin.
A penalty goal to Monro tied up the scores at 23-23, and that was where the scoreline stayed as Arlidge's late attempt went wide of the mark.
The match was Japan's last at the tournament, while Canada - who have a win over Tonga and a draw - can claim third place in the pool, although that will eventually depend on whether Tonga can beat France.