Sep 26, 2015 at 2.30pm UK at ​Elland Road
Rizzo (17'), Garcia (58')
Van der Merwe (16'), Evans (45')

Interview: Canada winger DTH van der Merwe after Italy defeat

Sports Mole spoke to Canada winger DTH van der Merwe after the Maple Leafs' narrow Rugby World Cup defeat to Italy.

Canada were denied a first victory of the Rugby World Cup as Italy squeezed past the Maple Leafs in Saturday's Pool D fixture in Leeds.

Underdogs Canada dominated both possession and territory, but were unable to make it count as Italy notched their fifth win in a row against the North American side.

The first try of the match was scored by DTH van der Merwe, who also went over in Canada's first match and now has four World Cup tries to his name.

Sports Mole caught up with the South Africa-born Scarlets winger after the match to get his thoughts on a close contest.

D.T.H van der Merwe of Canada goes over for the opening try during the 2015 Rugby World Cup Pool D match between Italy and Canada at Elland Road on September 26, 2015© Getty Images

Sum up the mood in the dressing room after that defeat. You were so close to victory...

"It's pretty low. I think we put in a hell of an effort out there today. The boys are sore. So close, but so far. The game was there to take, but credit to Italy, they closed it out in the final 10 minutes.

"There was some key decisions that resulted in us not winning, whether it be forward passes or not taking the extra ruck, but overall we are pretty chuffed with our performance."

You could have gone for the try in the 70th minute but you opted to kick. Do you regret that?

"Well, we back our captain 100%. Maybe a different captain would have done something else, but there was about 10 minutes left so we thought we could get back in their half and hopefully get another penalty.

"If we'd gone for the try, who knows? It's just one of those things I guess. Japan did it (against South Africa) and they scored, but we took the other decision."

Did you just run out of steam in that last 10 minutes?

"I just think it shows the quality of the Italians you know. They play Six Nations rugby and they know how to close out games. They're a quality side and get to play against the world's best all the time and I think that's something we can learn - how to close out games.

"The 10 minutes at the end we felt like we were just scrumming, slipping and resetting. You have to give credit to them."

D. T. H. van der Merwe of Canada celebrates his try with team mates during the 2015 Rugby World Cup Pool D match between Italy and Canada at Elland Road on September 26, 2015 in Leeds, United Kingdom. © Getty Images

On a personal note, another World Cup try. You love playing in this tournament don't you?

"Well yeah for me growing up as a kid in South Africa everything was about the World Cup, so when I get to play in it I get a few tears in my eyes.

"It's my dream come true and I've done it three times now. Scoring a try is great, but like last week it's bittersweet. I score but we didn't get the win."

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Italy's prop Michele Rizzo scores a try during a Pool D match of the 2015 Rugby World Cup between Italy and Canada at Elland Road in Leeds, north England, on September 26, 2015.
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