Canada opened its International Women’s Rugby Series campaign with a 28-16 defeat to New Zealand at Westpac Stadium in Wellington on Friday afternoon.
Kendra Cocksedge had two tries for the Black Ferns while Jacey Grusnick and Elissa Alarie had Canada’s tries. Kiwi captain Fiao’o Faamausili opened the scoring in the fifth minute but Canada replied in positive fashion — Edmonton’s Chelsea Guthrie tackled just meters from the line.
Despite some good Canadian pressure, the Black Ferns extended its lead to 14-0 as fullback Selica Winiata collected her own grubber kick to touch down.
However, Canada found life in the 37th minute as Jacey Grusnick finished off an outstanding team move that started inside the Canadian 22 before Magali Harvey’s penalty cut the Black Ferns’ lead to 14-8 at the break.
The hosts pushed its lead to 21-8 five minutes into the second half as she was benefactor of some great work by the forwards, diving over only a few meters from the line.
After Harvey’s penalty cut the deficit to 21-11, Cocksedge was in again in the 55th minute — after Victoria Subritsky-Nafatali had been sinbinned for a high tackle — as she exploited a hole in the Canadian defence for a 28-11 lead.
Canada were rewarded at the death though as Alarie was able to dive over in the corner after some sustained pressure but it wasn’t enough as the top ranked Kiwis maintained their perfect record against Canada as they move to 12-0.
Canada’s Roster vs. New Zealand (Name, club, hometown):
1. Carolyn McEwen (Burnaby Lake Rugby Club), Vancouver, BC
2. Laura Russell, Toronto Nomads/Cowichan RFC (Bolton, ON)
3. DaLeaka Menin (Hornets) Vulcan, AB
4. Tyson Beukeboom, Aurora Barbarians/Cowichan RFC (Uxbridge, ON)
5. Kayla Mack, Saskatoon Wild Oats (Saskatoon, SK)
6. Jacey Grusnick, Barrhaven Scottish (Alliston, ON)
7. Karen Paquin, Club de Rugby de Quebec/Castaway Wanderers (Quebec City, QC)
8. Kelly Russell, captain Toronto Nomads/Cowichan RFC (Bolton, ON)
9. Chelsea Guthrie (Stratchona Druids) Edmonton, AB
10. Emily Belchos, Westshore RFC (Innisfil, ON)
11. Elissa Alarie, Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue RFC/Westshore RFC (Trois Rivieres, QC)
12. Amanda Thornborough, Westshore RFC (Brandon, MB)
13. Brittany Waters, Meraloma Athletic Club/Castaway Wanderers (Vancouver, BC)
14. Magali Harvey, Town of Mont-Royal RFC (Quebec City, QC)
15. Julianne Zussman (Castaway Wanderers) Montreal, QC
16. Jane Kirby (Highland RFC) Brampton, ON
17. Brittany Kassil, Guelph Redcoats (Guelph, ON)
18. Olivia DeMerchant, Woodstock Wildmen/Castaway Wanderers (Mapledale, NB)
19. Cindy Nelles, Belleville Bulldogs (Belleville, ON)
20. Barbara Mervin, Westshore RFC (Peterborough, ON)
21. Lori Josephson, Aurora Barbarians (Beaverton, ON)
22. Alex Tessier, Montreal Barbarians (Sainte-Clotilde-de-Horton, QC)
23. Frederique Rajotte, Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue RFC (Montreal, QC
Unavailable due to Injury:
Latoya Blackwood, Westshore RFC (Montreal, QC)
Andrea Burk, Capilano RFC (North Vancouver, BC)
International Women’s Rugby Series Schedule:
Friday, 9 June – Wellington
Black Ferns 28 – 16 Canada
Australia vs. England
Tuesday, 13 June – Christchurch
Black Ferns vs. Australia
Canada vs. England
Saturday, 17 June – Rotorua
Black Ferns vs. England
Australia vs. Canada