Submitted by Bryan Kelly
Canada’s women’s sevens team finished in sixth place at the Dubai Sevens after a 17-14 loss to Fiji in the fifth place match.
Canada’s run at back-to-back series titles came to end early Friday morning as Russia handed Canada its first defeat in Dubai. Russia didn’t waste any time opening the scoring, touching down with a try in the first minute to go ahead 5-0. The Russians added another try three minutes later, but with both conversion kicks unsuccessful, Canada trailed by just 10 points heading into the break. Credit to the Russians, who kept The Canadians from scoring until the 12th minute, when Julia Greenshields scored her team-leading fourth try of the tournament. A Ghislaine Landry conversion made it a 10-7 match. With the Canadians looking for a last-minute game-winning try, it was the Russians who would touch down in the 13th minute to ensure the victory. Russia won 17-7.
Canada rebounded however in the next match with a 19-12 win over South Africa. Canada’s captain Ghislaine Landry opened the scoring in the fifth minute with a converted try to give the Canadians a 7-0 lead. With no time left in the half, Charity Williams touched down with a try to extend the Canadian lead to 12-0 at the break. Canada then scored their third straight try of the match as Britt Benn picked up her first try of the season. Landry’s second conversion of the game gave Canada a comfortable 19-0 lead. South Africa would add two late tries.
Advancing to the fifth place match Canada was hoping to finish the day with back-to-back wins, but an energized Fijian side proved too much for the Canadians. Ghislaine Landry provided the only scoring for Canada in the match, with her first half brace giving the Canadians a 14-7 half time lead.
But the offence dried up in the second half and while the Canadians were strong in defence, it was a matter of time before Fiji found the breakthrough. Two tries in the final five minutes gave Fiji their highest ever result at an HSBC World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series event.
“Day one we started off slow, but the ladies adjusted well and build through the first three games. Day two we made too many technical errors – dropped balls and missed passes – versus a good Russia team,” saud assistant coach Sandro Fiorino. “Overall the effort was there in the extreme Dubai heat but we lacked the executions, too many opportunities left on the table. The first tournament of the year is always challenging for our players. New positions and starting combinations is a challenge. But, I was excite to see some of our young players step up and accept the challenge of being starters. Breanne Nichols, Hannah Darling and Charity Williams showed some signs of brilliance and I’m sure they’ll use the experience here in the desert to their benefit in future tournaments.”
Canada’s Roster for Dubai Sevens (Name, club, hometown):
Britt Benn – Guelph Redcoats (Napanee, ON)
Hannah Darling – Peterborough Pagans (Warsaw, ON)
Bianca Farella – Town of Mont Royal (Montreal, QC)
Julia Greenshields – Sarnia Saints (Sarnia, ON)
Sara Kaljuvee – Toronto Scottish (Ajax, ON)
Ghislaine Landry – Toronto Scottish (Toronto, ON)
Megan Lukan – Unattached (Barrie, ON)
Kayla Moleschi – Williams Lake Rustlers (Williams Lake, BC)
Breanne Nicholas – London St. Georges (Blenheim, ON)
Ashley Steacy – Lethbridge Rugby Club (Lethbridge, AB)
Natasha Watcham-Roy – Hull Volant (Gatineau, QC)
Charity Williams – Markham Irish (Toronto, ON)
Canada’s Coaching Staff:
Meaghan Howat – Manager
John Tait – Head Coach
Sandro Fiorino – Assistant Coach
Morgan Williams – Assistant Coach