Canada opened the 2014 Women’s Rugby World Cup with a 31-7 win

rugby.canada 816

Aug 1,2014(ISN) – MARCOUSSIS, FRANCE – Led by Magali Harvey’s 26 points, Canada opened the 2014
Women’s Rugby World Cup with a 31-7 win over Spain. Although there is room for
improvement, it was an encouraging start to the tournament for head coach Francois
Ratier’s side as they led 24-0 at half.

While Canada was on the back foot for much of the opening quarter, their ability to
hold the Spanish side from scoring proved to be the most important aspect of the
opening 40 minutes. Once settled, Canada became more aggressive in their attack.

With the Spanish defensive line creeping up in the 18th minute, Andrea Burk placed a
perfect chip through to open space where a speeding Harvey met it at pace,
eventually diving in the corner to score Canada’s first try of the tournament.
Standing on the touchline, Harvey’s successful conversion was equally impressive.

Moments later, Harvey stole the ball in contact and went 60 metres the other way,
outpacing the Spanish defenders to touch down with her second try in five minutes.
After Harvey added a penalty kick, she impressed once again. Tapping the ball
forward past a Spanish player with her foot, Harvey side-stepped, picked up the ball
and sprinted over the try-line to cap off a first half hat-trick.

Her third successful conversion gave her 24 points in the half and Canada a 24-0
lead at the break. With Canada dictating the pace of play early in the second half,
they were awarded a penalty inside the Spanish 22-metre line. A smart decision by
Captain Kelly Russell to take the quick tap resulted in Mandy Marchak scoring her
first try of the tournament, giving Canada a 31-point lead.

However, after Olivia DeMerchant was shown a yellow card in the 60th minute, Canada
were down to 14 players and momentum began to change back to the Spanish side. Just
as they did in the opening 20 minutes, Spain controlled much of the possession in
the final quarter of play, eventually finding a breakthrough in the closing minutes
to score their first try of the match. Canada will now travel to Paris where they
will face Samoa next Tuesday in their second match of Group A.

Coach Francois Ratier:

“Our goal for today was to win and score four tries to get the bonus point, and we
achieved that, but we need to be better in the contact area and we will work on it
before we play Samoa,” said Ratier. “It was important for us to start the World Cup
off with a win to make sure we’re on the right track. We didn’t perform for a full
80 minutes but we won and that’s what is important,” added Ratier.

“(Magali Harvey) is a great player and I’m happy for her to have scored three tries,
but we play as a team and I know she’s focused on how we play as a group and not on
personal achievements, which is great,”

Captain Kelly Russell:

“I’m proud of the way the girls started today against Spain, our starters set the
tone and our subs made an impact, which was part of our game plan,” said Russell.
“Part of our game plan was to use the width of the field and spread the ball wide,
and Magali was phenomenal to take the ball at pace and use her skills to score,”
added Russell.

“For Samoa we really need to focus on the breakdown as well as keeping everything
tight in the scrum because they’re going to be a strong, physical team and we need
to be ready for that.”

Canada’s Women’s Rugby World Cup Roster to face Spain:

1. Laura Russell, (Toronto Nomads) Bolton, ON
2. Kim Donaldson, (Burnaby Lake Rugby Club) Toronto, ON
3. Hilary Leith, (Capilano RFC) Vancouver, BC
4. Maria Samson, (Calgary Hornets) Calgary, AB
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, Captain (Toronto Nomads) Bolton, ON
9. Stephanie Bernier, (Club de Rugby Quebec) Quebec City, Quebec
10. Emily Belchos, (Markham Irish RFC) Barrie, ON
11. Julianne Zussman, (Town of Mount Royal RFC) Montreal, QC
12. Andrea Burk, (Capilano RFC) North Vancouver, BC
13. Mandy Marchak, (Capilano RFC) Winnipeg, MB
14. Magali Harvey, (Club de Rugby Quebec) Quebec City, QC
15. Elissa Alarie, (Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue Rugby Club) Trois-Rivieres, QC
16. Marie-Pier Pinault-Reid, (Club de Rugby Quebec) Quebec City, QC
17. Olivia DeMerchant, (Woodstock Wildmen) Mapledale, NB
18. Kayla Mack, (Wild Oats RFC) Saskatoon, SK
19. Jacey Murphy, (Aurora Barbarians) Alliston, ON
20. Julia Sugawara, (Burnaby Lake RFC) Surrey, BC
21. Brittany Benn, (Guelph Redcoats) Napanee, ON
22. Jessica Dovanne, (Velox RFC) Victoria, BC

Non-Dressing Players:

Tyson Beukeboom, (Aurora Barbarians) Uxbridge, Ontario
Mary-Jane Kirby, (Highland RFC) Brampton, ON
Amanda Thornborough, (Brandon Barbarians RFC) Brandon, MB
Brittany Waters, (Meraloma Athletic Club) Vancouver, BC

Canada’s Women’s Team Staff:

Head Coach: Francois Ratier
Forwards Coach: Gary Dukelow
Backs Coach: Colette McAuley
Technical Advisor: John Tait
Strength and Conditioning: Steve Mackinnon
Physiotherapist: Adrienne Stinson
Manager: Meaghan Howat
Analyst: James Kent
Media Manager: Bryan Kelly


Canada vs. Spain – Aug. 1 at 8:45 a.m. ET on TSN
Canada vs. Samoa – Aug. 5 at 10:45 a.m. ET on TSN
Canada vs. England – Aug. 9 at 9:30 a.m. ET on TSN2
Semifinal #1 – Aug. 13 at 11:45 a.m. ET on TSN
Semifinal #2 – Aug. 13 at 2:30 p.m. ET on TSN
Finals – Aug. 17 at 12:30 p.m. ET on TSN2


April 15, 2014
Shawnigan Lake School, Mill Bay, BC

CANADA 14 – 10 USA
April 19, 2014
Westhills Stadium, Langford, BC

June 6, 2014
Tauranga Domain, Tauranga, New Zealand

June 10, 2014
Tauranga Domain, Tauranga, New Zealand

June 14, 2014
Rugby Park, Whakatane, New Zealand

August 1, 2014
Paris, France

August 5, 2014
Paris, France

August 9, 2014
Paris, France

(If Qualify)
August 13, 2014
Paris, France
Kickoff TBD

(If Qualify)
August 17, 2014
Paris, France
Kickoff TBD

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