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Canada won the Japan HSBC Women’s Rugby 7s tournament in Kitakyushu, going undefeated throughout. It was their first gold of the 2019 season series.
Sunday, they defeated England in a tightly played game 7-5.
Veteran Ghislaine Landry earned the Player of the Game nod for scoring Canada’s only try at the 16-minute mark. Wilson Hardy had opened the score at six minutes with a try for England.
The difference was that the 30-year-old Toronto native’s successful conversation at 17-minutes.
For the bronze medal, the US defeated France 36-12 at Mikuni Stadium.
For the first time this season, New Zealand played out of the medals but defeated Australia 34-26 to finish in fifth place and earn 12 HSBC series points. They continue to lead the series having won three consecutive golds from tournaments in Glendale, Dubai and Sydney. Atop the leaderboard, the Kiwis have 72 points. Canada moves into second with 66, finishing the tournaments in third, second, fifth and now first place.
The US is in third position with 64 points, while Australia sits fourth with 56.
Canada opened the series with a 26-17 win over Spain on Saturday. They went on to take out China 42-19, followed by a 17-14 win over Australia. On Sunday, Canada defeated Russia 17-14.
In an upset, the US took out leaders New Zealand 26-19, which meant that Canada would face their southern neighbours and not New Zealand in the semi-final. Canada won that game 24-12, setting up the final with seventh-ranked England. It was England’s first podium in 2019.
Castaways Wanderers Rugby Club of Oak Bay player Karen Paquin got back in the line-up after recovering from injury and she made the most of it scoring three tries during the win over Russia. The last time that the Quebec City native played for Canada was during the bronze medal victory at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
During the May 11-12 tournament at Westhills Stadium in Langford, Canada could officially qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, avoiding the stress of having to win it later or during a qualifying tournament in July in George Town, Cayman Islands.