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Canada v England - Super Series 2016


Barbara Mervin - Canada XVs
© Ron LeBlanc

Canada Dominate England 52-17 in Opening Match of Super Series


posted July 2 2016
[ed. comments below]

As the Rugby Canada media release states below, it was one of the most dominant first half performances in Canadian rugby history. Canada were up 39-0 over the defending World Cup champions at half time, England are ranked #2 (86.34) and Canada #5 (81.96), Canada will be rising when the stats are recalculated next week.

Everything Canada did in the first half was gold, I was particularly impressed with the scrum half, Chelsea Guthrie, her passing from the rucks and speed of recycling the ball kept England reeling and unable to keep up. First up runners were knocking the defenders backwards, forwards were in support to retain the ball, scrum half zipping the ball out immediately, backs spinning it wide with very few handling errors, it was everything you want to see in an attack. It was hypnotic watching the rhythm of the game when Canada had the ball. Kudos to the players and coaching staff. Head coach Francois Ratier, unfortunately, had to deal with the passing of his father and we send our condolences to him but he was monitoring the game from afar and the players and assistant coaching staff executed the game plan perfectly.

In the second half when subs came in the attack and defence stuttered a bit but the floodgates didn't open and Canada were able to close it out 52-17. Games like this are excellent to see which subs are up to this level and which are not, the starting XV certainly were. #8 Jacey Murphy was chosen player of the match and she had a strong game.

Postgame reaction from players is posted below as well as the official Rugby Canada media release.

POSTGAME REACTION






Rugby Canada media release

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH — A first half blitz saw Canada’s Women’s Fifteens Team run away to a 52-17 win over England in the opening match of the 2016 Women’s Rugby Super Series in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Canada scored seven tries, five of which came in the first half, as Julianne Zussman (2), Mary-Jane Kirby, Emily Belchos, Chelsea Guthrie, Barbara Mervin and Katie McNally all scored.

"It's a really strong start to our campaign," Interim Head Coach Shaun Allen said. "Our group is really happy to put in this performance on Canada Day. It was great to go out, score points, defend well, and we can now really build for the rest of the tournament."

Canada came flying out of the gates in what was one of the most dominant first half performances in Canadian rugby history as they put 39 unanswered points on second ranked, and defending World Cup champions, England.

"I think we had really good spacing and really good work from our tight to five clear rucks, maintain possession and then our backs did a really quality job when they found space," Allen said.

Belchos, who returned to Canada’s senior women’s team for the first time in almost two years, set the tone early as she split the England back line to find Alex Tessier who would offload to Guthrie to grab her first career test try in just the third minute. After an Andrea Burk penalty pushed the lead to 10-0, Barbara Mervin would get Canada’s second test try as she was the beneficiary of debutant Frédérique Rajotte’s break to push Canada ahead 17-0.

After Guthrie was held up under the posts, Canada wouldn’t have to wait long to grab their third try as Kirby would power over after a 5-meter scrum in the 23rd minute. Canada had its fourth try inside the half hour mark as Belchos touched down after some swift ball movement from Canada as they led 29-0 after 30 minutes.

England’s Harriet Millar-Mills would see yellow in the 34th minute and Canada capitalized once more before the break with Zussman scoring her first try of the day after Tessier had left the English backline in her rear view mirror with an outstanding break, giving Canada a well-deserved 39-0 half time lead.
Canada showed no signs of slowing down in the second half as Zussman danced her way through the England line before accelerating past the last defender to give Canada a 44-0 lead just four minutes into the second half as Canada continued to use quick ball movement to exploit the English defence.

England would reply through tries from Katie Wilson, Millie Wood and Bianca Blackburn while Burk tacked on another penalty before McNally got her name on the score sheet when she snagged her first test try with a few minutes left to seal a 52-17 win for Canada.

The victory marks just the third time Canada has beaten England in 24 meetings. All matches in the Women's Rugby Super Series count towards the official World Rugby Women's Rankings where Canada are currently ranked fifth. Before the tournament, Allen took the temporary role of head coach after Francois Ratier had to leave the team for personal reasons.

"I'm so proud of the girls," captain Laura Russell said. "Everyone did their job. We had a great start to the tournament. It sets the tone for the rest of the way but to start on this note allows us to keep building from here."
Frédérique Rajotte, Demi Stamatakis, Fabiola Forteza, Katie Svoboda, Brianna Miller and Anais Holly all made their test debuts for Canada in today's win with Rajotte starting on the wing and the five others coming on as replacements in the second half.

Canada returns to action on Tuesday when they face hosts USA at 7pm ET/4pm PT LIVE on www.therugbychannel.tv. A subscription is required but the first 30 days are free.

"We're so excited to start this tournament with a win," Player of the Match Jacey Murphy said. "We all came into this game with specific goals for our units. We've still got two more big games left but we're excited."

Canada’s Roster versus England (Name, club, hometown):

1. Carolyn McEwen, (Burnaby Lake Rugby Club), Vancouver, BC
2. Mary-Jane Kirby, (Highland RFC) Brampton, ON
3. DaLeaka Menin, (Hornets) Vulcan, AB
4. Laura Russell, Captain (Toronto Nomads) Bolton, ON
5. Kayla Mack, (Wild Oats) Saskatoon, SK
6. Barbara Mervin, (Velox RFC) Peterborough, ON
7. Latoya Blackwood, (St. Anne de Bellevue/Toulouse) Montreal, QC
8. Jacey Murphy, (Aurora Barbarians) Alliston, ON
9. Chelsea Guthrie, (Stratchona Druids) Edmonton, AB
10. Emily Belchos, (Markham Irish) Barrie, ON
11. Frédérique Rajotte, (Sainte Anne de Bellevue RFC) Sainte Anne de Bellevue, QC
12. Andrea Burk, (Capilano RFC) North Vancouver, BC
13. Alex Tessier, (Montreal Barbarians) Sainte-Clotilde-de-Horton, QB
14. Brittany Waters, (Castaway Wanderers) Vancouver, BC
15. Julianne Zussman, (Castaway Wanderers) Montreal, QC
16. Demi Stamatakis, (SFU) Vancouver, BC
17. Olivia DeMerchant, (Woodstock Wildmen) Mapledale, NB
18. Tyson Beukeboom, (Aurora Barbarians) Uxbridge, ON
19. Fabiola Forteza, (Club de Rugby de Quebec) Quebec, QC
20. Katie Svoboda, (Belleville Bulldogs) Belleville, ON
21. Brianna Miller, (SABRFC), Pointe-Claire, QC
22. Anais Holly, (TMRRFC) Montreal, QC
23. Katie McNally, (Castaway Wanderers) Guelph, ON

Canada’s Women’s Rugby Super Series Staff:

Francois Ratier- Head Coach
Colette McAuley- Rugby Canada Development Coach
Shaun Allen- Assistant Coach
Gary Dukelow- Scrum Coach
Nicole Crowley- Tour Manager
Nicole Ainsworth- Therapist
Jaimie McCartney- Strength and Conditioning
Joshua Clayton- Analyst

Canada’s Women’s Rugby Super Series Schedule:

Canada vs. England — July 1, 5pm ET/2pm PT
Canada vs. USA — July 5, 7pm ET/4pm PT
Canada vs. France — July 9, 3pm ET/12pm PT



Canada Announces Team for Canada Day Clash vs England in Salt Lake City


posted June 30 2016

The World Cup is next year for women's XVs and this summer series and the November tour to Ireland/England will be the big selection games for coach Francois Ratier.

Canada went 0-3 in last year's Super Series in Alberta, losing to England by one point, 15-14.

Ratier has selected the same front row as last year with McEwen, Kirby, Menin. Hillary Leith is not in the roster, she made a very effective partnership with McEwen for the Vancouver team in regional competition this year.

Laura Russell again leads from the engine room, this time she's partnered with Kayla Mack instead of Cindy Nelles. The backrow of Mervin, Blackwood and Murphy is exactly the same combination used last year against England. A standout player for Vancouver in BC's regional games at #8, Emily van Gulik, is not in the roster.

The halfback combination of Guthrie and Belchos is new, last year it was Guthrie and Alex Tessier with Julianne Zussman replacing Tessier later in the series.

The centre pairing of Burk and Tessier is also new, Burk was a mainstay last year while Tessier played flyhalf. Last year Amanda Thornborough was outside centre but is just coming back from injury and missed the BC club final and the regional matches.

The back three of Rajotte, Waters and Zussman is slightly different. Zussman is always in the mix at either #10 or #15, Waters was used on the wing last year but Frederique Rajotte is new this year. She has been on the radar for a long time, playing for the Maple Leaf 7s back in 2012, she also represented Canada at the U20 level.

Looking at my notes from last year in the England match, I thought our front row was awesome, the forwards as a whole were effective. I thought we were well beaten on the outside, you won't find better than Zussman at the back (or #10) but I said we "need to find large and fast on the outside". We'll see if Frederique Rajotte can help fill that void. I wanted to see more presence from the #8 position especially off the back of the scrum, same player but we'll see how it goes this year. Also the tactical kicking game, we need a flyhalf who can kick and manage the game, Zussman is the best we have so far. We'll see how Emily Belchos fits into that role.

It's a good test for Canada against the World Champions, coach Francois Ratier has gone with most of the same starters he had last year. Game kickoff is 2pm PT and streaming is available through a subscription service www.therugbychannel.tv

from Rugby Canada

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH — Canada’s Senior Women’s Team Head Coach Francois Ratier has named a strong starting XV for Friday’s Women’s Rugby Super Series (WRSS) opener against England in Utah. With the 2017 Women’s Rugby World Cup in Ireland on the horizon, the three test match WRSS provides Canada with quality opposition to continue building depth in the program.

Captained by Ontario’s Laura Russell, the squad features 13 other players with previous test caps. Sainte Anne de Bellevue’s Frédérique Rajotte will make her test debut on the wing.

“It's always good to have experience on the roster but in the end , what matters is what they do on the field and how they work hard to make the team successful,” Ratier said. “No player can ‘rest on their laurels.’”

Carolyn McEwen, Mary-Jane Kirby and DaLeaka Menin form the front row with Russell paired with Kayla Mack at lock. An incredibly experienced trio of Barbara Mervin, Latoya Blackwood and Jacey Murphy make up the back row with Edmonton Chelsea Guthrie at scrum-half and Emily Belchos, who started the 2014 Women’s Rugby World Cup final against England, at fly-half. Rajotte is joined by Brittany Waters on the wing while Andrea Burk and Alex Tessier start in centre. Veteran Julianne Zussman gets the nod at fullback.

There’s the potential for five other players to make their test debuts as Demi Stamatakis, Fabiola Forteza, Katie Svoboda, Brianna Miller and Anais Holly are named to the bench.

Last year, Canada narrowly lost 15-14 to England as part of the Women’s Rugby Super Series in Alberta. Of course, England defeated Canada 21-9 in the 2014 Women’s Rugby World Cup final, while tying 13-13 in the pool stages, and holds a 20-2-1 edge over Canada.

“What we know is they have finished second in the Six Nations this year,” Ratier said. “England are the World Champions so we know it will be tough.”

Friday’s game kicks off at 5pm ET/2pm PT and can be seen LIVE on www.therugbychannel.tv . The first 30 days of the subscription are free.

Canada’s Roster versus England (Name, club, hometown):

1. Carolyn McEwen, (Burnaby Lake Rugby Club), Vancouver, BC
2. Mary-Jane Kirby, (Highland RFC) Brampton, ON
3. DaLeaka Menin, (Hornets) Vulcan, AB
4. Laura Russell, Captain (Toronto Nomads) Bolton, ON
5. Kayla Mack, (Wild Oats) Saskatoon, SK
6. Barbara Mervin, (Velox RFC) Peterborough, ON
7. Latoya Blackwood, (St. Anne de Bellevue/Toulouse) Montreal, QC
8. Jacey Murphy, (Aurora Barbarians) Alliston, ON
9. Chelsea Guthrie, (Stratchona Druids) Edmonton, AB
10. Emily Belchos, (Markham Irish) Barrie, ON
11. Frédérique Rajotte, (Sainte Anne de Bellevue RFC) Sainte Anne de Bellevue, QC
12. Andrea Burk, (Capilano RFC) North Vancouver, BC
13. Alex Tessier, (Montreal Barbarians) Sainte-Clotilde-de-Horton, QB
14. Brittany Waters, (Castaway Wanderers) Vancouver, BC
15. Julianne Zussman, (Castaway Wanderers) Montreal, QC
16. Demi Stamatakis, (SFU) Vancouver, BC
17. Olivia DeMerchant, (Woodstock Wildmen) Mapledale, NB
18. Tyson Beukeboom, (Aurora Barbarians) Uxbridge, ON
19. Fabiola Forteza, (Club de Rugby de Quebec) Quebec, QC
20. Katie Svoboda, (Belleville Bulldogs) Belleville, ON
21. Brianna Miller, (SABRFC), Pointe-Claire, QC
22. Anais Holly, (TMRRFC) Montreal, QC
23. Katie McNally, (Castaway Wanderers) Guelph, ON

Canada’s Women’s Rugby Super Series Staff:

Francois Ratier- Head Coach
Colette McAuley- Rugby Canada Development Coach
Shaun Allen- Assistant Coach
Gary Dukelow- Scrum Coach
Nicole Crowley- Tour Manager
Nicole Ainsworth- Therapist
Jaimie McCartney- Strength and Conditioning
Joshua Clayton- Analyst

Canada’s Women’s Rugby Super Series Schedule:

Canada vs. England — July 1, 5pm ET/2pm PT
Canada vs. USA — July 5, 7pm ET/4pm PT
Canada vs. France — July 9, 3pm ET/12pm PT





 
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