May 27, 2017 Langford, BC (ISN) – Canada outpaced the world finishing pool play going 3-0 in opening day HSBC World Rugby Women’s Sevens play in the Langford leg for the 2016-2017 World Series tournament defeating France, Russia and Brazil to enter the Quarter Finals.
Fuelled by their Olympic Bronze medal performance last summer and a return to home field play this weekend for the first time since the Olympics, Canada kept pace with their competition in their quest not only to win the Cup in front their home town supporters but inch closer in the overall World Rugby Sevens standings sitting precariously close to unseating number two Australia from their second place ranking.
The red hot Canadian side, sitting only 2points behind the Aussie’s, are not only be looking to jump over Australia, but to avenge a dying seconds cup loss to New Zealand in the Kitakyushu – Japan Sevens last month. Canada has finished in the top trio the last three of four legs of the six-leg World Cup tour. Canada defeated the USA in the final 21-17 to take the Sydney Sevens cup in their second tournament of the season.
Canada vs. Brazil (33-5)
It didn’t take long for Canada to make a statement in the tournament as they jumped out to any early first quarter 3 try lead against Brazil and cruised to a 33-5 victory in front a packed partisan crowd at Westhills Stadium. Canada would get trys from Julia Greenshields, Bianca Farella and Hanna Darling to set the Brazilians back on their heals unable to contend with the speedy and physical play on the Canadians. Canada’s Brittany Ben would add to the lead in the second half dragging three defenders across the goal line to put the ball down. Brazil would get a late try from Claudia Teles who would beat all defenders down the sideline on an unbalanced field. Canada would close out the game with their 5th try on the legs of Charity Williams, answering Brazil’s challenge only a minute later to seal the 33-5 win.
Canada vs. France (33-0)
The Canadians would equal their output from game one pool play, taxing the Parisians with five trys for 33 unanswered points. Charity Williams and Bianca Farella would both score a pair of trys to pace the red and white, while Brittany Benn would score also score her second try of the tournament. France would finish the day 2-1 with wins over Russia and Brazil, sitting tied for second place in Pool A.
Canada vs. Russia (24-10)
Canada would cap a successful day of pool play with a strong performance over a game Russian side. Russia would prove hard to hold early in the game Russia, holding possession of the ball for over a minute of opening play dangerously near the Canadian end would turn the ball over into Ashley Steacy’s hands. Steacy, with a smart pass to Julia Greenshields, would take the ball full pitch to beat all challengers for Canada’s first try to take a 7-0 lead.
Russia, still game would send Baizat Khamidova to find daylight, beating the normally stingy Canadian defense on the wing to run from midfield for the try to answer 7-5. Canada would take a 12-5 lead into the half on a second effort try by Ghislaine Landry after Russia would do well to deny Hannah Darling’s full field sprint and try attempt, holding her out inches away from the goal with time running down in the first half.
Canada would take a comfortable 19-5 lead in the second half when Farella would out run Arina Bystrova from centre field for her 80th career try on the HSBC tour. Russia would push back one final time with a try by Elena Zdrokova before Canada’s Natasha Watcham-Roy would seal the three-peat 24-10 victory to close out Pool play in day one action from Langford.
Canada, now in an all to familiar spot, fizzling out in the last two Langford Sevens after stellar first day performances, will look to rewrite the record books as the first women’s team to take the Cup on home turf in 2016/2017, when they start the knockout round quarter finals Sunday with a match against last year’s Langford Sevens Cup Champion England. England goes in to day two play with a 1-2 record after dropping decisions to USA and New Zealand, and a win against the Netherlands.
Play begins at 10:30 am at Westhills Stadium.