CANADA OPENS HSBC WORLD RUGBY WOMEN’S SEVENS SERIES WITH 6TH PLACE FINISH IN DUBAI

Via Rugby Canada

DUBAI, UAE — 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 bowed out of cup competition with a 17-7 loss to Russia in the quarterfinals early Friday morning. The Canadians then advanced to the fifth place match after a 19-12 win over South Africa.

After going a perfect 3-0 on day one to claim top spot in Pool C, the Canadians finished with two losses and a seven point win on day two. Dubai has not been kind to Canada in the last two years, as the Canadians have now finished in sixth place in back-to-back years.

What assistant coach Sandro Fiorino said:

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.”

“Overall the effort was there in the extreme Dubai heat but we lacked the executions, too many opportunities left on the table.”

“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 7-17 RUSSIA

(Starting seven: Bianca Farella, Hannah Darling, Ghislaine Landry ©, Kayla Moleschi, Breanne Nicholas, Natasha Watcham-Roy & Charity Williams)

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.

CANADA 19-12 SOUTH AFRICA

(Starting seven: Hannah Darling, Sara Kaljuvee, Ghislaine Landry ©, Megan Lukan, Breanne Nicholas, Ashley Steacy & Charity Williams)

Canada rebounded from an earlier loss Friday to advance to the fifth place 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.

CANADA 14-17 FIJI

(Starting seven: Hannah Darling, Bianca Farella, Sara Kaljuvee, Ghislaine Landry ©, Megan Lukan, Breanne Nicholas, Charity Williams & Natasha Watcham-Roy)

After a disappointing loss to open up day two action, 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.

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

Canada’s Dubai Sevens Schedule:

Day 1 – December 1

Canada 26-19 Brazil

Canada 27-7 Spain

Canada 24-12 England

Day 2 – December 2

Canada 7-17 Russia – Cup Quarter-Final

Canada 19-12 South Africa – 5th/6th Place Game Semi-Final

Canada 14-17 Fiji – 5th/6th Place Game

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. Canada’s Women’s Rugby Sevens Team also made history in 2016, capturing the first-ever Bronze Medal at the Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

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 2017 Women’s Rugby World Cup in Ireland, the 2018 Sevens World Cup in San Francisco, the 2019 Men’s Rugby World Cup in Japan and 2020 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo.