Rugby Canada women open Can-Am series with 51-7 victory


April 15, 2014, SHAWNIGAN LAKE, BC (ISN) – Canada’s women came out hard in a great season opener against the USA Eagles. In the first of a two-game Can-Am Series Canada defeated USA by an impressive score of 51-7 in a fast-paced game held at Shawnigan Lake School Tuesday afternoon.

These games are being held in conjunction with a two-week selections camp in preparation for 2014 IRB Women’s World Cup.

The first half opened with the team showing great ball movement and smooth passing which helped them utilize each player making it a huge team win for Canada.Their first try of the game came down the line landing in the hands of second row player Kayla Mack who beat two defenders to score.

Canada head Coach, Francois Ratier commented on his feelings after the game:

“We stuck to the game plan. We wanted to move the ball and we wanted to win at the contact areas. We did that today, so I am pleased by the result,” said Ratier at Shawnigan Lake School. “More, I am pleased with the performance; we are going to try and be consistent and do it again on Saturday,” added Ratier.

Canada played a great offensive and defensive game, including a number of positive tackles from Captain Kelly Russell to save USA from scoring in the corning during the first half.

“The game went really well for us, it was great work for the girls with the vision on the field and attacking the gaps,” said the Bolton, Ontario native. “We didn’t want to play a congested style of rugby and we wanted the game to flow and get it out wide and we were able to do that.”

Canada was able to get the ball away from the contact point quickly and utilize the overlaps out on the wings. Mandy Marchak did a great job of covering and supporting the back three and scored a great try to the left of the post allowing Andrea Burk to complete the conversion.

Unfortunately late in the second half Canada’s strong defensive line broke allowing the USA to score their only try of the game.

“Our defense was great, there are still a couple things to find tune, especially getting lower at the breakdown point and particularly at the maul. But for the most part we got our shoulder in and made some positive tackles, which was great,” added Russell.

The back three were an important part of scoring in this game, and due to their creative lines and attacking angles, they found the gaps they needed to score. Magali Harvey scored two tries and one conversion and Julianne Zussman finished the game with a hat trick. Jessica Dovanne also scored two tries in the second half after she was subbed on for Brittany Waters.

“We were able to gain momentum off of some big positive tackles and it was an exciting game to play in the backs off a strong forwards performance,” said Julianne Zussman. “We had some huge defensive hits and that was one of our main goals going in was to battle at the point of contact and dominate them in contact and we are looking to be just as physical on Saturday.”

The women will play the USA again on Saturday at Westhills Stadium in Langford at 3:30pm PT.


Tries: Julianne Zussman (x3), Jessica Dovanne (x2), Magali Harvey (x2), Kayla Mack and Mandy Marchak

Conversions: Andrea Burk and Magali Harvey


Tries: Mia Bitzar

Conversions: Sadie Anderson

Make sure to follow Rugby Canada on Social Media for up-to-the-minute information. 

Canada’s Roster for Can-Am – Name, (Club) Hometown

  • 1. Laura Russell, (Toronto Nomads) Bolton, ON
  • 2. Kim Donaldson, (Burnaby Lake Rugby Club) Toronto, ON
  • 3. Hilary Leith, (Saracens/Capilano RFC) Vancouver, BC
  • 4. Kayla Mack, (Wild Oats RFC) Saskatoon, SK
  • 5. Latoya Blackwood, (St. Anne de Bellevue) Montreal, QC
  • 6. Barbara Mervin, (Velox RFC) Peterborough, ON
  • 7. Karen Paquin, (Club de Rugby Quebec) Quebec City, QC
  • 8. Kelly Russell, (Toronto Nomads) Bolton, ON
  • 9. Stephanie Bernier, (Club de Rugby Quebec) Quebec City, Quebec
  • 10. Kayla Moleschi, (Williams Lake Rustlers) Williams Lake, BC
  • 11. Magali Harvey, (Club de Rugby Quebec) Quebec City, QC
  • 12. Andrea Burk, (Capilano RFC) North Vancouver, BC
  • 13. Mandy Marchak, (Capilano RFC) Winnipeg, MB
  • 14. Brittany Waters, (Meraloma Athletic Club) Vancouver, BC
  • 15. Julianne Zussman, (Town of Mount Royal RFC) Montreal, QC
  • 16. Asya Bartley, (Barrhaven Scottish RFC) Ottawa, ON
  • 17. Marie-Pier Pinault-Ried, (Club de Rugby Quebec) Quebec City, QC
  • 18. Mary Jane Kirby, (Highland RFC) Brampton, ON
  • 19. Tyson Beukeboom, (Aurora Barbarians) Uxbridge, Ontario
  • 20. Jacey Murphy, (Aurora Barbarians) Alliston, ON
  • 21. Julia Sugawara, (Burnaby Lake RFC) Surrey, BC
  • 22. Brittany Benn, (Guelph Redcoats) Napanee, ON
  • 23. Jessica Dovanne, (Velox RFC) Victoria, BC

Senior Women’s Fifteens Staff:

  • Head Coach: Francois Ratier
  • Assistant Coach: Gary Dukelow
  • Assistant Coach: Colette McAuley
  • Technical Director: John Tait
  • Strength and Conditioning: Steve Mackinnon
  • Physiotherapist: Adrienne Stinson and Brad Curry
  • Manager: Meaghan Howat
  • Guest Coach: Les Gilson



April 15, 2014


April 19, 2014

Westhills Stadium, Langford, BC

Streamed LIVE at 

Kickoff 3:30pm PT


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