Canada has moved from fifth place to fourth in the Rugby 7s women’s world series standings after this weekend’s tournament in Langford. Losing narrowly to he USA this morning was heartbreaking for the team but they rallied, winning their next two matches, finishing fifth overall. New Zealand demolished Australia in the gold medal match 46-0 and USA beat France to take third place.
In the first match against USA Canada gave up a five-point lead in the last few seconds to lose 28-26. After a slow start in the first half where Canada was 14-0 down in the first four minutes, they bounded back with two tries – from captain Ghislaine Landy and Charity Williams to make it 21-12 at half time. They came out strong in the second half, with a try by Bianca Farella in the first minute. Putting on the pressure, Farella scored again to put Canada in the lead for the first time at 21-26. But a bad restart gave USA the opportunity to score a converted try just before the final whistle.
“They put us in a hole right off the bat and it was hard to come back. Sevens is ruthless and we have to get every possession,” said Landry, who is the top Canadian try scorer at 107, and third in overall points standing in the series. “Everything we are doing is right – we just have to do it for 14 minutes.”
“We gave away two or three soft tries. It was disappointing,” said coach John Tait.
Canada had a far better start against England in the 5th place semi-final. A break from Farella gave Sara Kaljuvee the opportunity to score a try in the first minute. But after a Farella error England bounced back with a try from Deborah Fleming. Just before half time Hannah Darling saw a gap in the England defence and blasted through to give Canada a 14-5 lead. Canada continued to put on the pressure in the second half with a try from Landry after two minutes. Her conversion made it 21-5. Farella, not satisfied with one try, scores again and after seeing a break in the English defence, makes it a hattrick with her third try. A last minute try by Fleming for England was too late and Canada romped to victory and into the 5th Place final with a score of 35-12.
Against Ireland Canada didn’t waste time with Farella scoring in the first 30 seconds from a feed by Landry. After a good restart Canada scored a good team try with Kayla Moleschi, Williams and Kaljuvee involved before Darling made the touch down. It was 10-0 up when Ireland got possession for the first time and scored, but Farella, who was on fire today, broke from the Ireland 22 to put Canada up 17-5 at half time. Not content with one hattrick today, Farella scored her eighth try of the weekend early in the second half making it 24-5. Then Ireland had a surge causing a high tackle from Farella and a penalty, but Ireland lost the ball and Williams ran the length of the pitch to score Canada’s winning try. A consolation try from Hannah Tyrrell from Ireland came just seconds from the end – Canada winning 29-12.
“We had good defence and excellent attack under pressure. In the USA game we a lot of bounces went wrong and we didn’t get up to the kicks as we normally do, and that is a big part of our game and the restarts are important for us as we build a lot of momentum. We are a young team and we have to learn from these experiences, and the only place they can get it is at the world series level.”
The women now move on to round five of the tournament, competing in Paris from June 8 – 10.