(CNN) -- Two tries in the last 15 minutes handed Canada a 25-20 victory over Tonga in their opening match at the 2011 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand on Wednesday.
Tonga held a 20-13 advantage heading into the last quarter of an hour in the Pool A clash, but tries from Aaron Carpenter and Phil Mackenzie handed the Canadians their third victory in three World Cup encounters with the Pacific Islanders.
Canada, coached by former New Zealand fullback and 1987 World Cup winner Kieran Crowley, led 10-7 at the half-time interval courtesy of flanker Jebb Sinclair's try after 13 minutes, but center Siale Piutau touched down twice for Tonga to hand them the initiative.
Canada's late rally ultimately secured them the four points and their captain Pat Riordan was proud of their performance.
"That was awesome," Riordan, 31, told the tournament's official website. "I'm so proud of the boys, the guts they showed."
Sinclair, 25, was also delighted with the result and he used the social-networking site Twitter: "I am on cloud nine! What a night, what a game! @rugbycanadaboys are here to play some rugby! #yeabuddy"
Next up for Canada is a contest with two-time World Cup finalists France in Napier on Sunday, while Tonga tackle Japan in Whangarei on Wednesday.
Elsewhere, Scotland earned their second win of the tournament with a hard-fought 15-6 defeat of Georgia.
Scotland, coached by Andy Robinson, owed much to the boot of Dan Parks in what was only the sixth tryless match in World Cup history, as the 33-year-old kicked all of their points.
In a match hampered by heavy rain and difficult conditions, Georgia took an early lead via a Merab Kvirikashvili penalty.
But Scotland responded through Parks and are now top of Pool B with nine points ahead of their match with 2007 bronze medal winners Argentina on September 25.
In Tuesday's other contest, Samoa put in a battling display to dispose of Namibia 49-12 in the Pool D match.
But victory came at a cost for Samoa, with both flyhalf Tusi Pisi and back-row forward Taiasina Tuifua sustaining injuries during the contest in Rotorua.
Namibia have failed to register a victory in any of their 13 World Cup matches, and they were undone by the fastest try of the tournament so far from scrumhalf Kahn Fotuali'i and a hat-trick from the impressive wing Alesana Tuilagi.
Full back Paul Williams went over for a fifth try which guaranteed the bonus point for Samoa.
In other news, England were dealt a blow ahead of their match with Georgia on Sunday after it was revealed prop Andrew Sheridan will miss the rest of the tournament.
Sheridan, 31, picked up a shoulder injury in England's 13-9 success against Argentina and will play no further part in the country's bid to reach a third successive final.
"It's a big blow to leave the World Cup through injury, but it's a significant injury to the shoulder, so I have to deal with that and get on with it now," Sheridan said in a statement.
"Like everyone in England (I think) it would be great if we could win it, but it's about looking to the next game -- the old cliche. We've got a good team, but we can't get too far ahead of ourselves at this moment in time. I just want to wish the boys all the best."