It’s the third time in the last four series events Canada and Australia have met in the Cup Final, with the teams splitting the previous two meetings 20-17. After finishing a disappointing sixth place in Dubai back in December and earning just 10 points in the standings, Canada earned 18 points in Sao Paulo. It puts Canada in a second place tie in the standings with New Zealand as both teams have 28 points.
Canada advanced to the Cup Final after beating New Zealand 19-10 in the Cup Semi Final. It was Canada’s first ever win over the Black Ferns, having lost seven of the previous eight matches with one draw. Earlier in the day, Canada defeated France 19-0 in the Cup Quarterfinals.
CANADA 19-0 FRANCE
Having dominated the series matchup over the last three seasons, Sunday’s result in Sao Paulo was no different as Canada won comfortably 19-0. Coming into the match with a 7-1 all-time record, Canada continued the winning trend with a start-to-finish victory.
Canada opened the scoring midway through the first half thanks to some nifty footwork and accurate passing from Ghislaine Landry, who took the ball from inside her 22-metre line and found Bianca Farella on the outside who went the length of the pitch for the first try of the match.
The conversion from Kelly Russell gave Canada a 7-0 lead at half time. Britt Benn gave Canada a 12-0 lead with a try in the corner after some terrific work from Kayla Moleschi at the breakdown led to a French turnover.
With France on the back foot, Captain Jen Kish delivered the final blow in the 10th minute with a try under the posts. Canada improved to 8-1 all-time vs France, having outscored them 183-37 during that stretch.
CANADA 19-10 NEW ZEALAND
History was made Sunday in Sao Paulo, Brazil as Canada picked up their first ever win over New Zealand 19-10. Having never beaten New Zealand, Canada was always going to be in tough against the three-time defending series champions, but an early score by the Black Ferns put the Canadians in an early 5-0 deficit.
However, Canada responded with tries from Ghislaine Landry and Kayla Moleschi, with Landry successful on both conversions and Canada took a 14-5 lead into the half. The Canadians couldn’t have asked for a better start to the second half as Jen Kish and Kelly Russell won the ball off the restart, with the Captain Kish finishing off with a try.
With Canada pressing for another try, New Zealand intercepted a pass just outside the five-metre line and went the length of the pitch for a try. But with little time left on the clock, Canada was assured their first ever victory over the Black Ferns.
CANADA 0-29 AUSTRALIA
Canada’s hopes of a second cup title in three tournaments came to an abrupt end Sunday as Australia took the Sao Paulo Sevens with a comfortable 29-0 win.
While conditions played a part, Australia made fewer mistakes throughout the game. After two first half tries, they held a 14-0 lead at the break.
With a 10 minute half in cup finals, Canada was still in the game, but they were unable to generate any pressure on the attack and Australia capitalized on turnovers. The Australians added three second half tries to hand Canada their worst defeat of the season.
What Head Coach John Tait said:
“We really stepped it up today and played much better defence in the first two matches. We won the breakdown battle in those and then really stuck to our game plan to get into the cup final. Being on the wrong side of a one sided final was tough because we know we are a much better side then the final score showed but we couldn’t hold onto to the ball for more than a couple of phases and the Aussies put us to the sword.”
“It was really important to get back into the top tier. The competition is only getting tougher so we needed to go out and prove again to ourselves that regardless of who we have or don’t have in our lineup right now we can compete and win tough games when we execute as a team. I’m particularly proud of this effort because the conditions don’t get much tougher then 38 degree heat and humidity. The girls dug deep but came up a little short so we will be hungry to go one better in Atlanta and Langford come April.”
Canada’s Sao Paulo Sevens Day 1 Schedule:
Canada 26-7 Ireland
Canada 24-7 Fiji
Canada 14-29 Australia
Canada’s Sao Paulo Sevens Day 2 Schedule:
Canada 19-0 France
Canada 19-10 New Zealand
Canada 0-29 Australia
Canada’s Roster for the Sao Paulo Sevens (Name, club, hometown):
Britt Benn – (Guelph Redcoats) Napanee, ON
Hannah Darling – (Peterborough Pagans) Warsaw, ON
Bianca Farella – (Town of Mont Royal RFC) Montreal, QC
Sara Kaljuvee – (Toronto Scottish) Ajax, ON
Jen Kish – (Edmonton Rockers) Edmonton, AB
Ghislaine Landry – (Toronto Scottish) Toronto, ON
Megan Lukan – (Unattached) Barrie, ON
Mandy Marchak – (Capilano RFC) Winnipeg, MB
Kayla Moleschi – (Williams Lake Rustlers) Williams Lake, BC
Breanne Nicholas – (London St. Georges) Blenheim, ON
Karen Paquin – (Club de Rugby Quebec) Quebec City, QC
Kelly Russell – (Toronto Nomads) Bolton, ON
Canada’s Coaching Staff:
John Tait – Head Coach
Sandro Fiorino – Assistant Coach
Meaghan Howat – Manager
Sandeep Nandhra – Athletic Therapist
Tyler Goodale – Strength & Conditioning