Canada Womens’ 7’s Undefeated In Day One World Cup Action

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LANGFORD, BC – Canada’s Women’s Sevens team has advanced to their 12th straight World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series Cup Quarterfinal after finishing day one at the Canada Sevens with a perfect 3-0 record.
 

 

Canada finished in a three way tie with Australia and New Zealand going into day two of the competition – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)
After finishing top of Pool C, Canada will now face England in the quarterfinals, a team they have had mixed results against so far this season. Playing in front of 3,111 at Westhills Stadium in Langford, Canada fed off the energy of the home crowd throughout the day. Canada opened the tournament with a 26-15 win over Russia and followed that up with an impressive 47-0 win over South Africa before beating the Americans in their final match Saturday.
 
 
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Ghislaine Landry looks for the crack she needs to get another try. Landry had 43 points on Saturday – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)
 
“We were pretty clinical against South Africa, which is good,” said head coach John Tait. “We were a little impatient against the US and gave up a couple of turnovers. We got caught up in playing frenetic rugby which is their style not ours.”
 
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Karen Paquin escapes the tackle of a USA player – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)
 
Tait said it was good for his team to have a pressure-filled game ahead of tomorrow’s knockout rounds.
 
Canada has faced England three times already this season, suffering two defeats. Back in December at the Dubai Sevens, England beat Canada 17-12. In February, it was Canada coming out on top with a 24-17 win in Sao Paulo, but in Atlanta last month Canada lost 26-10, a bad defeat that prompted Tait to have a closed door meeting with his team.
 
“We’ve got to make sure we move the ball,” said Tait. “They’ve been a tough opponent for us this year. We split a lot of games with them, so for us we know their style is a real physical one and we want to use the ball and move it around and get are speedsters in early against them.”
 
One of those speedsters is Ghislaine Landry, who had 43 points on Saturday. She now leads the series in scoring with 194 points.
 
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Landry gets by one tackler, and looks for the next. – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)
 
“She’s a finisher for us so she works on the outside and hopefully we get her the ball in some space,” said Tait. “She’s got great pace, she’s a complete package on attack and her defence was good today too which is important for us.”
 
Landry, who finished the day with five tries, deflected the attention to her teammates.
 
“Game plan is a big thing for us, we know we have to stick to it,” said the Toronto native. “When we don’t, we always fall off those games.”
 
“It wasn’t perfect but it was pretty damn close.”
 
It was the first time in Canadian history a World Rugby Women’s Sevens event has been held in Canada and the players were very pleased with the home support.
 
“We knew that was going to be an issue, we knew that it was going to be super loud and that just gave us more energy,” said captain Ashley Steacy. “I think we managed it very well.”
 
Tait gave his team a 20 minute window on Saturday where his team spent time with their families and friends.
 
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Captain Ashley Steacy take time with family/friends post game after their win over the USA – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)
 
“I think they’re super-charged to play in front of their families,” said Tait. “I’m happy with it, I’m hoping it gives us another lift tomorrow.”
 
Landry was taken back by the atmosphere inside the stadium.
 
“To be home in front of family is massive,” said Landry. “They watch all over the world, they’re up at 4:00 AM watching games depending where we are and to get to do it in front of them live is incredible.”
 
While the support is almost overwhelming, Tait said getting through day one with three wins was the first goal.
 
“Tomorrow we’ve got to have a good start to make sure we finish in the top four again.”
 
CANADA 26-15 RUSSIA
 
Playing in front of their home fans, Canada had an impressive start to the Canada Sevens with a 26-15 win over Russia. It didn’t take long for Canada to open the scoring, as Kayla Moleschi touched down for the opening score in the first minute. Less than a minute later, it was Bianca Farella showing off her pace on the outside to extend the Canadian lead to 12-0.
 
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Ashley Steacy ( on right ) – tries to pull down a Russian rusher – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)
 
With regular captain Jen Kish sidelined this weekend due to injury, head coach John Tait said he needed another strong performance from Brittany Benn in her absence. The Napanee, Ontario native didn’t disappoint, showing off her mix of power and speed in the fifth minute to give Canada a 19-0 lead.
 
A Russian try in the final minute of the opening half made it a 19-5 score at the break. Canada came out strong to begin the second half, with Karen Paquin scoring their fourth try to extend the lead to 26-5.
 
While Russia did add two late tries, the Canadians came away with an important opening victory.
 
CANADA 47-0 SOUTH AFRICA
 
Head coach John Tait wasn’t happy with how his team finished their first game, so they rewarded him with one of their best performances of the season in a dominating 47-0 win over South Africa.
 
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Britanny Benn, called upon after injury to Jen Kish, challenges a RSA player for the kicked ball – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)
 
After being held without a try in the first match, Ghislaine Landry showed why she is second in series scoring this season, picking up a first half hat trick. Her conversion on Brittany Benn’s try gave her 23 first-half points and Canada led 28-0 at the break. The 23 points scored by Landry are the second-most in a game in Women’s World Rugby Sevens history.
 
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It was much of the same for the Canadians in the final seven minutes, as Natasha Watcham-Roy used her speed to score two tries, while Hannah Darling capped off an impressive game for the Canadians with a try in the final seconds.
 
CANADA 19-15 USA
 
With top spot in the pool up for grabs, Canada capped off an impressive day with an exciting 19-15 win over their North American rivals. Captain Ashley Steacy opened the scoring just 60 seconds in, giving the hosts an early 5-0 lead. After the US drew even at 5-5, Ghislaine Landry touched down after the hooter had sounded and Canada took a 12-5 lead into half.
 
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However, it was the Americans who came out strong after the break, scoring two tries to take a 15-12 lead with just over two minutes remaining in the match. But like she had done all day, it was Landry grabbing her fifth try of the day and Canada came away with the 19-15 win.
 
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Team Canada thanks the fans post game – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)
All matches from the Langford Sevens will be streamed LIVE at http://www.worldrugby.org/womens-sevens-series and parts of the tournament will be broadcasted in Canada on TSN.
 
Langford Sevens Schedule
 
Day One – April 18, 2015
 
Canada 26-15 Russia
Canada 47-0 South Africa
Canada 19-15 USA
 
Day Two – April 19, 2015   Canada vs England at 1:44 pm ET / 10:44 am PT 
 
Canada’s Roster for Canada Sevens – Name, (Club) Hometown
 
Elissa Alarie – (Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue Rugby Club) Trois-Rivieres, QC
Britt Benn – (Guelph Redcoats) Napanee, ON
Hannah Darling – (Peterborough Pagans) Warsaw, ON
Bianca Farella – (Town of Mount Royal) Montreal, QC 
Sara Kaljuvee – (Toronto Scottish) Ajax, ON
Ghislaine Landry – (Toronto Scottish) Toronto, ON
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
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
 
Canada’s Women’s Sevens Program is proudly sponsored by Sport Canada, Own the Podium and B2TEN. 

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