Heartbreaking last-second loss to Australia sees Canada into third leading into next weekend’s World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series finale in Amsterdam
Karen Paquin Photo Ian Muir
LONDON, ENGLAND – Canada’s Women’s Sevens team finished in second place at the London Sevens after losing a nail-biting Cup Final to Australia 20-17. A victory would have given Canada their first ever series Cup trophy.
With the win, Australia jumps ahead of the Canadians for second place in the series standings based on the tie-breaker as both teams sit on 76 points for the season. The combined results mean New Zealand have clinched their third straight series title after leaving London with 96 total points.
With the top-four teams qualifying automatically for the 2016 Summer Olympics, Canada has all but secured their position with only one event left, next week in Amsterdam. Earlier in the day it was Canada defeating Russia 26-5 in the Cup Quarterfinals, followed by a 17-14 win over USA in the Cup Semi Finals.
CANADA 26-5 RUSSIA – CUP QUARTER-FINAL
It was another dominating performance from Canada, who led start to finish over an upstart Russian side that was coming off a second place finish in Langford, BC last month. Canada controlled much of the possession in the opening three minutes, but couldn’t find a crack in the Russian defense until Bianca Farella touched down under the posts to give Canada an early 7-5 lead.
However, it was Russia responding quickly with a try of their own and Canada took a 7-5 lead into the break. The Russians looked set to take the lead in the second half but Ashley Steacy came racing through with a try-saving tackle.
Canada then took possession and marched down the field, setting up phase after phase before Magali Harvey scored in the corner to give the Canadians a 12-5 lead. Ghislaine Landry and Elissa Alarie added two late tries for Canada.
CANADA 17-14 USA – CUP SEMI-FINAL
In a rematch of last month’s Plate Final at the Canada Sevens, it was the Canadians who came away with victory in another close match between the North American rivals. Brittany Benn opened the scoring in the first minute to give Canada an early 5-0 lead.
Three minutes later, Ashley Steacy followed up with a try of her own and Canada took a comfortable 12-0 lead. But the Americans scored the next 14 points and took the lead midway through the second half.
With just three minutes remaining and the Canadians needing a score, it was Magali Harvey who found room on the outside to ensure Canada reached their first Cup Final of the season.
CANADA 17-20 AUSTRALIA – CUP FINAL
Canada looked set to lift their first ever series cup trophy but a late surge from the Australians prevented Canadian rugby history from happening.
Australia controlled possession for much of the opening few minutes and were rewarded with the first try of the match to take an early 5-0 lead. Canada would then score the next 17 points, as Kayla Moleschi scored two tries while Ghislaine Landry added another of her own and Canada looked to be in total control midway through the second half.
But even when Australia went down to six players because of a yellow card, the Aussies did not give in and continued to put pressure on the Canadian defensive line. They scored three straight tries in the final seven minutes against a tired Canadian side, with the last score coming after the hooter had sounded.
All matches from the London Sevens will be streamed LIVE at http://www.worldrugby.org/womens-sevens-series
London Sevens Schedule
Day One – May 15, 2015
Canada 14-12 Russia
Canada 45-0 South Africa
Canada 31-0 England
Day Two – May 16, 2015
Canada 26-5 Russia
Canada 17-14 USA
Canada 17-20 Australia
Canada’s Roster for London 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
Magali Harvey – (Club de Rugby Quebec) Quebec City, QC
Sara Kaljuvee – (Toronto Scottish) Ajax, ON
Jennifer Kish – (Edmonton Rockers RFC) Edmonton, AB
Ghislaine Landry – (Toronto Scottish) 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
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