Cup Championship win secures best-ever second-place finish to 2015-15 World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series
AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS – Canada’s Women’s Sevens team has captured their first ever Cup title after defeating Australia 20-17 in a thrilling Cup Final at the Amsterdam Sevens. With the win, Canada clinched second place in the World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series standings, the highest ever finish for the Canadian women. Canada had finished third place in the first two seasons.
Canada Champions Photo RonLeBlanc
It’s been a rewarding weekend for the women, who secured automatic Qualification to the 2016 Olympic Games on Friday after advancing to the Cup Quarterfinals in Amsterdam. Canada defeated France 33-0 in the quarterfinals, then beat USA 19-14 in the semi-finals.
Canada’s Ghislaine Landry also finished the season first overall in series scoring with 301 points.
What head coach John Tait said:
“To finish the series off with back-to-back solid performances is so gratifying for us as a program. These ladies have worked so hard, especially this season, at becoming better players and to see them rewarded with Rio qualification, winning an event and finishing second overall just makes me so proud of all of them. The series playing level has risen with each event so to finish so strongly in the last two just reinforces for us that we have the right people on and off the field building towards next season’s goal of winning an Olympic gold medal. We won’t be complacent either, we know we have lots of areas we can get better at and we will be raising our standards again, but for a night or so we are going to just enjoy this achievement.”
CANADA 33-0 FRANCE
It was a dominating performance for Canada who took out the fourth ranked team in the world with a convincing 33-0 win. Karen Paquin opened the scoring in the first minute to give Canada an early 7-0 lead and just two minutes later it was Ghislaine Landry picking up her 37th try of the season to give Canada a 12-0 lead at half.
The second half was much like the first, in that Canada dominated ball possession and field position, continuously pressuring the French on defence to create turnover ball. Ashley Steacy extended Canada’s lead to 19-0 in the opening minute of the second half after she cleaned up a French turnover inside the 22-metre line and touched down under the posts.
Mandy Marchak and Sara Kaljuvee added two late tries to ensure Canada advanced to their third straight Amsterdam Sevens Cup Semi-Final.
CANADA 19-14 USA
It was another tightly contested match between the two North American rivals and it was Canada coming out on top with a 19-14 win. Ghislaine Landry extended her overall series points lead in the second minute as she opened the scoring with her sixth try of the weekend, giving Canada an early 7-0 lead.
However, over the next few minutes the Americans came at Canada with loads of pressure, eventually leading to a try to draw the teams even 7-7. While that looked to be the score line heading into half, Landry had other ideas. Her kick with no time left on the clock bounced to Magali Harvey who ran in for her third try of the weekend and Canada took a 12-7 lead into the break.
An early second half penalty to USA inside their own 22-metre line gave the Canadians an opportunity to extend their lead. Using a nice set of hands which saw five players touch the ball off the breakdown, Karen Paquin scored to make it a 19-7 game.
Landry was then shown a yellow card for what the referee said was repeated offsides and the Americans took advantage, scoring a try to make it 19-14 Canada with under two minutes to play. The Americans looked well on their way to scoring another try in the final minute, but it was Landry who was there for a game-saving tackle to put Canada in a Cup Final for the second straight week.
CANADA 20-17 AUSTRALIA
It was a back-and-forth affair that came down to the final whistle, but it was Canada who scored the final try to capture their first ever Cup title with a 20-17 win. The teams traded big hits and ball possession for the opening four minutes as both countries went right at each other trying to set an early tone.
The Canadians eventually opened the scoring in the fifth minute through Karen Paquin, who was also named to the Amsterdam Sevens Dream Team. The Wallaroos would respond a couple minutes later to take a 7-5 lead.
However, with half time nearing, Canada struck once again through the legs of Magali Harvey and the Canadians took a 10-7 lead into the break. The teams continued to trade scores in the second half and it was the Australians who put up the first points in the opening minute to go back out in front 12-10.
Paquin once again showed off her pace on the outside, scoring her second try of the match to put Canada back in the lead at 15-12. But the see-saw battle continued, and it was Australia scoring the next try to retake the lead at 17-15.
With one minute left in the match, Ghislaine Landry scored the deciding try and Canada were crowned tournament champions for the first time in history.
Amsterdam Sevens Schedule
Day One – May 22, 2015
Canada 29-0 Spain
Canada 34-10 Netherlands
Canada 26-5 France
Day Two – May 23, 2015
Canada 33-0 France
Canada 19-14 USA
Canada 20-17 Australia
Canada’s Roster for Amsterdam Sevens – Name, (Club) Hometown
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