Bryan Kelly, Rugby Canada
Canada’s women’s sevens team has advanced to the Clermont-Ferrand Sevens after finishing Day One second in Pool B with a 2-1 record. Canada opened the day with two wins over Japan and Russia before falling to New Zealand in their final match of pool play. Canada will face Fiji Sunday in the Cup Quarterfinals.
This is the 20th straight World Rugby Sevens Series Cup Quarterfinal for Canada. Through four seasons, they have made the Cup Quarterfinal at every event.
CANADA 21-15 JAPAN
Canada opened the Clermont-Ferrand Sevens with a 21-15 win over Japan. While Canada never felt threatened, it was a closer scoreline then both teams would have imagined as Canada came into the match with two comfortable victories in their two previous matches.
Britt Benn opened the scoring for Canada with a try in the second minute, but Japan responded with a try of their own to cut the lead to 7-5. After Hannah Darling extended Canada’s lead, Benn scored her second try of the half to give the Canadians a 21-5 lead at the break. Japan added two second-half tries to better their point differential.
CANADA 29-12 RUSSIA
Despite conceding the opening score, Canada improved to 2-0 at the Clermont-Ferrand Sevens with a 29-12 win over Russia. Charity Williams scored her first try of the tournament just three minutes in as Canada responded from the early deficit to cut the lead to 7-5.
It was then Ghislaine Landry touching down to give Canada a 12-7 advantage. Russia responded with their second try in the opening seven minutes as both teams went into half tied 12-12. However, it was Canada responding with three second half tries through Karen Paquin, Bianca Farella and Nastasha Watcham-Roy as Canada came away with a comfortable 29-12 win.
CANADA 17-19 NEW ZEALAND
It was a classic between two of the top countries in the world as Canada and New Zealand came down to the final whistle in a 19-17 win for the Black Ferns. Canada jumped out to an early 5-0 lead through Magali Harvey’s pace on the outside as she picked up her first try of the day.
New Zealand quickly responded with two tries of their own to take a 12-5 lead at half. Britt Benn fueled the Canadians second half attack with two tries of her own, but it was not enough to knock of the three-time series champions.
All games from this weekend’s Clermont-Ferrand Sevens can be streamed LIVE here: http://www.worldrugby.org/womens-sevens-series
Canada’s Roster for the Clermont-Ferrand Sevens (name, club and hometown):
Britt Benn – (Guelph Redcoats) Napanee, ON
Hannah Darling – (Peterborough Pagans) Warsaw, ON
Bianca Farella – (Town of Mont Royal RFC) Montreal, QC
Magali Harvey - (Club de Rugby Quebec) Quebec City, QC
Jen Kish – (Edmonton Rockers) Edmonton, AB
Ghislaine Landry – (Toronto Scottish) Toronto, ON
Megan Lukan – (Unattached) Barrie, ON
Kayla Moleschi - (Williams Lake Rustlers) Williams Lake, BC
Karen Paquin - (Club de Rugby Quebec) Quebec City, QC
Kelly Russell - (Toronto Nomads) Bolton, ON
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
Sandeep Nandhra – Athletic Therapist
Tyler Goodale – Strength & Conditioning
Callum Morris - Analyst
Canada’s Clermont-Ferrand Sevens Day 1 Schedule:
Canada 21-5 Japan
Canada 29-12 Russia
Canada 17-19 New Zealand
Canada’s Clermont-Ferrand Sevens Day 2 Schedule:
Canada vs. Fiji at 7:26am ET/4:26am PT in the Cup Quarterfinal
About Rugby Canada
Rugby Canada is the national governing body of the sport of rugby union in Canada. Rugby Football has a long history in Canada dating back to its initial appearance in the 1860s. Since 1974, Rugby Canada has been a permanent fixture on the global rugby scene, including trips to each of the eight Men's Rugby World Cups and seven Women’s Rugby World Cups. As a regular on the Men’s and Women’s HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, Canada continues to climb the world rankings and challenge the dominant rugby nations in both versions of the game.
To support the growth of rugby at the grass-roots level and to ensure there are elite programs for prospering young rugby players to become involved with, Rugby Canada has put an emphasis on developing its junior programs. Our goal is to develop and train competitive teams for the 2016 and 2020 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and Tokyo, Japan respectively, the 2017 Women’s Rugby World Cup in Ireland and 2019 Men’s Rugby World Cup in Japan.