Submitted by Mark Sheldon – Rugby Canada Press Officer
(ISN) – Canada’s Women’s Sevens Team has advanced to their ninth straight World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series Cup Quarterfinal after finishing Day One of the Sao Paulo Sevens with a 3-0 record.
Canada capped off a perfect day with a 24-17 win over England, a result that gave them top spot in Pool C.
Earlier in the day, they opened the tournament with a 20-7 win over Russia, their first ever series win over the Russians. Canada will face Russia once again in the Cup Quarterfinals.
Canada beat South Africa 26-5 in their other match.
While the team had much success, it was a big day for 20-year-old Nadia Popov and 18-year-old Charity WIlliams, who both made their senior team debuts.
Ghislaine Landry led the Canadian attack with seven tries on the day, finishing with 39 total points.
CANADA 20-7 RUSSIA
(Starting seven: Bianca Farella, Jen Kish, Ghislaine Landry, Mandy Marchak, Kayla Moleschi, Karen Paquin, Kelly Russell and Ashley Steacy)
Try scorers for Canada: Ghislaine Landry (2), Bianca Farella & Karen Paquin.
One would have expected the Canada to be somewhat fatigued after a bad week of travel, but they looked very sharp in their tournament opener, picking up a 20-7 win over Russia.
Ghislaine Landry touched down twice in the opening half to give the Canadians a 10-7 lead after seven minutes.
Jen Kish and Kelly Russell set the tone in the second half with punishing tackles on defence, as Canada did not concede a single point against a very powerful Russian attack.
Canada added two more tries in the final three minutes with Bianca Farella and substitute Karen Paquin both scoring.
CANADA 26-5 SOUTH AFRICA
(Starting seven: Bianca Farella, Jen Kish, Ghislaine Landry, Mandy Marchak, Kayla Moleschi, Kelly Russell and Ashley Steacy)
Try scorers for Canada: Ghislaine Landry (3) & Charity Williams
Canada couldn’t have scripted a better start to the match as they opened the scoring just 23 seconds in.
Captain Jen Kish controlled the opening kick-off before popping to Kelly Russell who manoeuvred through the South African defence before finding Ghislaine Landry out wide for Landry’s third try of the day.
It would be a sign of things to come for Landry and Canada as the Toronto native would score twice more in the opening seven minutes to give Canada a 19-0 lead at the break.
After South Africa cut the lead to 19-5, Charity Williams scored her first series try to cap off Canada’s win.
CANADA 24-17 ENGLAND
(Starting seven: Bianca Farella, Jen Kish, Ghislaine Landry, Karen Paquin, Kelly Russell, Ashley Steacy & Charity Williams)
Try scorers for Canada: Ghislaine Landry (2) & Karen Paquin (2)
After falling behind 7-0 in the opening minute, Canada responded almost immediately as a good set of passes found Karen Paquin on the wing and the Quebec City native showed off her pace to draw the match even.
Moments later, an identical play allowed Paquin to touch down with her second try of the match to give Canada a 12-7 lead.
Canada’s ability to include all seven players in attack proved beneficial once again as Captain Jen Kish found Ghislaine Landry on the opposite side of the pitch for her sixth try of the day.
Canada took a 17-12 lead into the half.
Both teams spent most of the second half jockeying for field position while trading ball possession, but with England’s defence pressing up in hopes of causing a turnover, Landry executed a perfect chip-and-chase to grab her second try of the match.
All matches from the Dubai Sevens will be streamed LIVE at http://www.worldrugby.org/womens-sevens-series
Sao Paulo Sevens Schedule
Day One – February 7, 2015
Canada 20-7 Russia
Canada 26-5 South Africa
Canada 24-17 England
Day Two – February 8, 2015
Canada vs Russia at 11:44 am local time (8:44 am ET / 5:44 am PT)
Canada’s Roster for Sao Paulo Sevens – Name, (Club) Hometown
Hannah Darling – (Peterborough Pagans RFC) Warsaw, ON
Bianca Farella – (Town of Mount Royal RFC) Montreal, QC
Julia Greenshields – (Sarnia Saints) Sarnia, ON
Jennifer Kish – (Edmonton Rockers RFC) Edmonton, AB
Ghislaine Landry – (Toronto Scottish RFC) Toronto, ON
Mandy Marchak – (Capilano RFC) Winnipeg, MB
Kayla Moleschi – (Williams Lake Rustlers) Williams Lake, BC
Karen Paquin – (Club de Rugby Quebec) Quebec City, QC
Nadia Popov – (Aurora Barbarians) Newmarket, ON
Kelly Russell – (Toronto Nomads) Bolton, ON
Ashley Steacy – (Lethbridge Rugby Club) Lethbridge, AB
Charity Williams – (Markham Irish) Toronto, ON
Canada’s Coaching Staff
Head Coach: John Tait
Assistant Coach: Sandro Fiorino
Therapist: Sandeep Nandhra
Strength and Conditioning: Dana Agar-Newman
Manager: Meg Howat
Analyst: Callum Morris