May 12, 2018 Langford, BC (ISN) – The Canadian Women’s Sevens Rugby team got a boost when they needed it the most as Charity Williams would save her hat trick try of the afternoon for heroics as she would run the length of the pitch to score with seconds remaining to defeat a tough Irish side 19-17 and advance Canada to the Cup quarter finals Sunday against the USA at Westshills Stadium in Langford, BC.
With what started out as an unenviable opener, Canada would get off to a rough start, drawing top-ranked Australia to start the day. Canada, unable to find the pace they were hoping for in front of their home crowd, would fall 22-7 to the 2017-2018 HSBC World Rugby Women’s Sevens leaders.
Australia’s Emma Tonegato would score two first half try’s, and Dominique Du Toit and Yasmin Meakes would score add trys of their own in the second half to jump out to a 22-0 lead as Canada would find difficulty with penalty ball turnovers that would stymy any viable opportunity at a comeback. Canada’s Bianca Farella would score her eighty-ninth career try late in the match, out pacing Aussie Lauren Brown down the side line to erase the shut out despite the 22-7 loss.
Canada would start to heat up in their second match of the day against Spain, defeating the Spaniards 24 -10.
After conceding an opening try to Spain’s Patricia Garcia, Canada would start find success with a quicker ball movement and aggressive tackling. Canada’s Charity Williams, forced away from her comfort zone sidelines where she likes to run, would find a hole to split Spain’s defenders, running half the field for the try and a 7-5 lead. Canada would increase their lead after multiple phases with the ball deep in Spain’s territory. Ghislaine Landry would send the ball with a skillfull touch pass to Breanne Nicholas who would dive across the line for the go ahead 14-5 try.
Spain would reply two minutes into the second half to pull near 14-10, but trys by Charity Williams, her second of the game, and Caroline Crossley would put the game out of reach, giving Canada their first win of day one.
Closing out pool play, Canada would have to rely on a last play, field length run, by Charity Williams to put the ball down between the sticks to squeak out a gut-check, 19-17 win over ninth-ranked Ireland.
Ireland would open and close the first half scoring on a pair of trys by Ireland’s Amee Leigh Murphy Crowe. Hannah Darling, for Canada, would find the try line after some determined ball movement would back up Ireland, forcing the Irish to concede a try. Ireland would hold a 12-5 half time lead.
Canada’s Natasha Watcham-Roy would tie the score 12-12 with five minutes remaining in the match. Ireland, taking advantage of a Canadian miscue, would not to be denied a reply, sending Stacey Flood through from short distance with only two minutes remaining to regain the advantage with a 17-12 lead.
Canada would find themselves backed up once again in their own end 10 metres out, but with ball in hand Charity Williams would make two Irish defenders miss their tackles in close quarters to run field length to tie the game. A successful conversion would give the Canadian squad and their fans a thrilling 19-17 win.
Despite the teams difficult, yet positive 2-1 result on the day, assistant coach Morgan Williams see’s much needed room for improvement to move on in the series. “We train very hard and I think we are our biggest critics, so as a coach that’s our job is to see what we can do better and based on our performance today we need to do that (be better). Tomorrow we’re going to look for a better team performance.”
Canada will take on USA in the Cup quarterfinals at 10:04 am at Westhills Stadium.