(ISN) – 
Canada’s women completed a highly successful Day #1 at the IRB Women’s Sevens Challenge Cup, on Friday. As the second of the three leg cup series kicked-off in Hong Kong, the Canadians took on Brazil, in the opening match of Pool A.

Brazil were coming into the contest with confidence, just having emerged as Champions of the South American (CONSUR) Sevens. However, using all of the pace and power at their disposal, the Canadian women blasted through their opponents, racing out to a 31 – 0 half-time lead. With tries from Kish, Waters, Steacy and two each from veterans Ghislaine Landry and Mandy Marchak, Canada laid down an impressive performance. Steacy also added no less than five conversions, to make the final score 45 – 0.

Canada were off to a great start.

The ladies ran into a slightly tougher Russian outfit in their second match of the day. In a display that spoke volumes of the improvements in Russian rugby, Canada were held to a mere 12 points in the opening half; through tries from Kish and Marchak, along with an Ashley Steacy conversion. Canada were able to rack up 24 points by the time the final hooter sounded, but not before the Russians grabbed five of their own, with a well-worked corner try. The 24 – 5 score-line sees Canada claim top spot in Pool A.

The results of Day #1 will likely see Canada faceoff against England in the Semi-Finals, on Saturday morning at 11:42am local time.

Coach John Tait had these comments on his squad’s performance, so far:

“We executed very well against Brazil and were able to completely control the game by re-gathering all our restarts to them. It was a complete team effort, but I thought our forwards really stood out through their physicality at the breakdowns; causing the Brazilians all sorts of trouble.

We weren’t quite as crisp against Russia, but they defended really well considering how much possession we had compared to them. There was some excellent individual efforts in this game but we will need to execute better as a team moving forward into the Semi-Finals.

Against the English we are expecting a really tough match, as they have their strongest squad here and are a big and skillful team. We have more team speed then them and we will need to be sharp with our passing to exploit this advantage, as well as take away as much time and space as possible when they have the ball. They have forwards that match up well physically with ours, but I believe that ours are playing really well together and utilizing each other’s strengths in both attack and defence.”

Make sure to stay tuned to www.rugbycanada.ca for a recap of all the action from Day #2 in Hong Kong.

Additional updates are available through Rugby Canada’s social networks on Facebook and Twitter.

The National Women’s 7’s team is proudly sponsored by Macquarie Financial with additional support from Own the Podium.

Canada Roster:
Andrea Burk – Capilano RFC (North Vancouver, BC)
Ashley Steacy – Lethbridge Rugby Club (Lethbridge, AB)
Barbara Mervin – Velox Valkyries (Victoria, BC)
Brittany Waters – Meraloma Athletic Club (Vancouver, BC)
Cheryl Phillips – Toronto Scottish RFC (Toronto, ON)
Ghislaine Landry – Toronto Scottish (Toronto, ON)
Jen Kish – Edmonton Rockers (Edmonton, AB)
Kayla Moleschi – University of Lethbridge (Williams Lake, BC)
Kelly Russell – Toronto Nomads (Bolton. ON)
Magali Harvey – Club de Rugby de Quebec/ St. F.X. (Quebec City, QC)
Mandy Marchak – Capilano RFC (North Vancouver, BC / Winnipeg, MN)
Megan Gibbs – Irish Canadian Rugby Club, UWO (Barrie, ON)

Head Coach: John Tait
Assistant Coach: Sandro Fiorino
Manager: Kristy Martin Hale
S & C Coach: Tyler Goodale
Head Athletic Therapist: Kim Oslund
OTP Advisor: Jean-Philippe Lavoie