12 QUESTIONS WITH JEN KISH FOLLOWING THE SYDNEY 7S
1. How do you look back on Canada’s success in Sydney?
We were pleased with our win in Sydney. Our goal was to put in a 12 player effort & our coaches did a great job in player management during the tournament. When I look back on the tournaments we have won, it has always been because of how well we worked together as 12.
2. What were the key factors in Canada turning a sixth place finish in Dubai into victory in Sydney?
Our preparations, attitude in defence, work rate & a 12 player effort, helped lead us to Victory in Sydney.
3. What did having two North America teams in the final say about the women’s game in Canada and USA?
In my opinion, it says that rugby on our side of the world is trending in the right direction. We compete with teams who grow up playing the sport of rugby, so to have 2 teams in a final where rugby has been the kind of sport you start a little later in life, is very exciting. I hope to see many more North American finals & I think North America wants to see it too!
4. You missed out on Dubai through injury – what are you like as a spectator?
I’ve never been a good spectator, especially when I am watching my team play. Sometimes, watching leaves me feeling helpless, nervous & a bit envious. However, there are some positives to spectating. I get a birds eye view on the game of 7s, which helps me become a better student of the game & it gives another player in our program a shot to compete on the world stage.
5. How did it feel to pull the Canadian jersey on again for the first time since Rio 2016?
It’s always an incredible honour to put the jersey on & the feeling that comes with it is complete joy. They are 24 of us in this program, who are very skilled, so to be selected to be 1 of the 12 players to compete in Sydney, was a special moment for me. It’s always a special moment to be selected & get that honour to represent Team Canada.
6. What has the bronze medal you won in Rio done for women’s rugby in Canada?
The power of our Bronze has put rugby on the map across Canada. We have people dreaming of representing Canada at the Olympic Games in the sport of Rugby now. That’s so exciting because that means our sport has grown and keep growing. Not only that, there has been a spike in interest with those watching us on the World Series & in club registration across Canada.
7. Have we seen the best of this Canadian women’s team yet – if not how much more is to come?
We have shown moments of brilliance but are capable of more than just these “moments”. The level of the game keeps rising & we are always trying to be a level about that. When we can do that consistently, win every tournament on our series, lose 0 games, then I would say you have seen the best Canadian Women’s team. Even if we were to win the series in the end, until we hit that perfect stat of 0 losses, we will keep striving to be that #1 team in the world with a record that some might see as unattainable but still very possible! We are not a team who limits ourselves & a team who has no limit & reaches their potential consistently, is a team that will make you pay even on your best day.
8. What is it that you love about rugby sevens?
I love that 7s is a fast pace game that exposes even the best defenders in the world. It also shines a light on the best attackers in the world. When you get the best against the best, you get a game that is hard to look away from. I love that there are a lot of 1 on 1 battles that happen in the game. In particular, for me, the restarts. I love flying through the air, putting my body on the line just so I can win ball back for my team & see our best attackers take on some of the worlds best defenders. Rugby 7s gives me the kind of adrenaline one would get if they were to go sky diving.
9. How have preparations been going for Las Vegas?
Prep has been good. The competition for the 12 spots for Vegas has been intense & our level of play & skill has reached yet another level. Consistency will be a key focus throughout Vegas 7s & of course a 12 player effort.
10. This will be the third tournament of the season where the men’s and women’s series come together – what does this add to the event for the players?
I am thrilled to have another joined stop with the men because it’s better media coverage for women’s rugby, more spectators watching & an atmosphere that we don’t always get on our individual stops.
11. What are you expecting from the USA Sevens with France, Russia and Argentina in your pool?
We have played France and Russia many times. They are 2 teams that have the potential to beat anyone if they are on form. Even though we have more W’s over both those teams, we do not over look them. They both have world class attackers & defenders. If we want to come out on top, which is what we are expecting, we will only be able to do that if we are on form ourselves. Argentina is not a team we have seen much of but sometimes it’s those teams who can be most dangerous. It will be important for us to stay in structure which can become difficult when you play a team who does the opposite. It may seem like we have an “easy” pool, but what pool has ever been easy for any team with the way the level of play has been rising in our game today.
12. What will it take if Canada are to win back-to-back tournaments for the first time?
Our defence will need to be sound & we will need all 12 to be on form working together. Consistency & minimizing our errors will also play a big role. We know that we need to be better than we were in Sydney & NZ gave us that wake up call at the end of day 1.