(ISN) – ATLANTA, GEORGIA – Canada’s Women’s Sevens Team has advanced to their 11th straight Cup Quarterfinal after finishing second place in Pool C on Day One at the Atlanta Sevens. Canada began the day with big wins over Brazil and China before falling to England 26-10 in their final match on Saturday. While the results were good enough to put Canada in another Cup Quarterfinal, head coach John Tait was disappointed with how they got there.

“Was pretty frustrated really, we wanted to play a fast game against Brazil and China but we struggled to achieve that with some loose play in attack and to be honest, we were half asleep on defence at times in all three matches,” said Tait. “We had some great individual efforts from a lot of the squad but frankly I’d prefer consistent team effort over that.”

Tait took blame for focussing on trying to get points by playing at a faster pace than his team was capable of. It was the third straight tournament Canada and England played each other in the final match of Day One competition, with both teams having split the previous two matches.

“England was hugely disappointing as we let them dictate the game by not being aggressive enough on defence until the game was out of reach,” said Tait. “Credit to the bench who came on and did put them under pressure, but we will have a real look in the mirror after that and ask why that was.”

The result against England wasn’t their only loss of the day, as captain Jen Kish left the match against China with injury and will miss the rest of the tournament.

“Losing Kish is tough,” said Tait. “She is by far our biggest threat for creating turnovers off opponents and she has been really doing well on attack. We will need everyone to take a big step up and work better together to create the turnovers that Kish is able to create.”

Canada will now face France Sunday in the Cup Quarterfinals. Canada has beaten France in the third place match at the last two tournaments, but they are just four points ahead of them in the series standings.

“France is excellent in the contact area, so we need to be sharp in that phase of the game,” said Tait. “They are tactically smart and will make you pay if you get sloppy on either side of the ball. Simply put, we need to be at another level across the board then we were today to get a result in what will be the most important match of the season for us with this being a quarter final and them just behind us in the series standings.”

Brittany Benn and Natasha Watcham-Roy made their debuts for Canada with both players leaving a good impression on the head coach.

“I thought Watcham-Roy and Benn did a pretty good job, especially as it is their first tournament. They both had positive impacts and we will need more of the same from them as well tomorrow.”


(Starting seven: Bianca Farella, Jen Kish, Ghislaine Landry, Kayla Moleschi, Karen Paquin, Kelly Russell & Ashley Steacy)

Try scorers for Canada: Kayla Moleschi (2), Bianca Farella & Jen Kish
Conversions: Ghislaine Landry (2) & Ashley Steacy (2)

It was a good result for Canada, who were playing on the back foot for much of the opening few minutes before settling in to control possession for the remainder of the match. Captain Jen Kish scored the game’s first try in the fourth minute, splitting the Brazilian defensive line on a strong step before touching down.

Two minutes later, Kayla Moleschi scored the first of her two tries in the game, picking up a loose ball inside the Brazilian 22-metre line to go in untouched. Canada capped off the half with their third try in four minutes, as Bianca Farella used a mix of power and speed to grab her 34th series try, the fourth most all-time in Women’s Sevens Series history.

Holding a 21-0 lead, Canada slowed the pace of the match in the second half as Brazil looked like they were trying to lure the Canadians into taking penalties at the breakdown. With Canada working the ball from side to side, they caught Brazil on an overlap which resulted in Moleschi’s second try of the match.


(Starting seven: Bianca Farella, Jen Kish, Ghislaine Landry, Kayla Moleschi, Karen Paquin, Kelly Russell & Ashley Steacy)

Try scorers for Canada: Karen Paquin (2), Bianca Farella, Ghislaine Landry & Natasha Watcham-Roy
Conversions: Ghislaine Landry (3)

It wasn’t easy, but in the end Canada got the result they needed with a 31-14 win over China. Canada opened the scoring in the first minute with a try from Karen Paquin after Captain Jen Kish went on an incredible individual run, breaking through five tackles before offloading to a streaking Paquin.

China would respond quickly though, picking up their first ever series try against Canada to tie the match 7-7. Kish was injured on the play and would be forced to leave the match, although she left the field under her own power. Replacing Kish was Natasha Watcham-Roy, who was making her series debut.

Watcham-Roy didn’t waste any time getting her name on the scoresheet, scoring her first try within a few minutes of being on the pitch. Bianca Farella would add a try just before half time to give Canada a 21-7 lead at the break. After China made it 21-14, Canada scored two tries in the final minute to ensure a big victory. Ghislaine Landry picked up her first try of the day and off the restart Karen Paquin caught Landry’s kick at full pace and raced to the tryline for her second score of the match.


(Starting seven: Bianca Farella, Ghislaine Landry, Kayla Moleschi, Karen Paquin, Kelly Russell, Ashley Steacy and Natasha Watcham-Roy)

Try scorers for Canada: Elissa Alarie & Mandy Marchak

Playing without injured captain Jen Kish, Canada struggled to find their identity for much of the match. England controlled most of the possession throughout the opening seven minutes and took a 14-0 lead into half.

Canada would then concede the first points in the opening minute of the second half as England went out to a big 21-0 lead. The lead proved to too much for the Canadians, who would score two tries in the final minutes to finish the match with a respectable 26-10 score line.

All matches from the Dubai Sevens will be streamed LIVE at

Atlanta Sevens Schedule

Day One – March 14, 2015

Canada 28-0 Brazil
Canada 31-14 China
Canada 10-26 England

Day Two – March 15, 2015

Canada vs France at 12:22 pm ET / 9:22 am PT

Canada’s Roster for Atlanta Sevens – Name, (Club) Hometown

Elissa Alarie – (Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue Rugby Club) Trois-Rivieres, QC
Brittany Benn – (Guelph Redcoats) Napanee, ON
Bianca Farella – (Town of Mount Royal) Montreal, QC
Julia Greenshields – (Sarnia Saints) Sarnia, ON
Jennifer Kish – (Edmonton Rockers) Edmonton, AB
Ghislaine Landry – (Toronto Scottish) Toronto, ON
Mandy Marchak – (Capilano) Winnipeg, MB
Kayla Moleschi – (Williams Lake Rustlers) Williams Lake, BC
Karen Paquin – (Club de Rugby Quebec) Quebec City, QC
Kelly Russell – (Toronto Nomads) Bolton, ON
Ashley Steacy – (Lethbridge Rugby Club) Lethbridge, AB
Natasha Watcham-Roy – (Hull Volant) Gatineau, QC

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