Canada Women Fall to Australia in Preseason Tournament: Tournament Helps Build Australian Depth
Canada sent a women's team labelled as the Maple Leafs to the Central Coast 7s but it was pretty close to the full Canada team with Kish, Landry, Greenshields, Darling, Moleschi, Nicholas, Lukan and Watcham-Roy. A combination you might see during the World Sevens series. They blew out a number of Australian club and academy sides but the only match that would have tested them was the final against a similar strength Australia team. They lost that match 29-12. It highlights the fact that Canada are the third ranked team in the world behind NZ and Australia and haven't picked up any ground in the off season.
The benefit to Australia hosting the tournament is that it builds their depth. Ten of the sixteen teams in the women's division were from Australia, that's about 120 Australian players who get to gain experience against Canada, as well as their own national team. There were also development sides from Fiji, Cook Islands and New Zealand and an invitational side from the USA, Stars Rugby, who had the loan of three Canada players.
You can see the benefit to Australian development through the facebook post from Pride 7s one of the Australian-based academy sides.
So why don't Rugby Canada invest some of their OTP money to back a local tournament as an alternative to travelling to Australia? In that case there would be 10 Canadian sides entered along with the Maple Leafs, that would be 120 female Canadian players getting top level development. It would all come down to getting Australia or NZ to send a top team. The USA would no doubt contribute some teams. The Canadian provincial and regional unions could be challenged to put in teams along with private academies like Upright Rugby or MacDowell Rugby. That's how you build depth and start thinking of challenging the top two while staying ahead of the rest. It's where Rugby Canada need to pick up their game and improve their collaboration with local tournament organizers to make something like this happen.
Here are some photos from the final day of the tournament. from Rugby Canada
Canada’s women’s Maple Leafs team finished runners-up at the Central Coast Sevens after dropping the Kinesio Cup Final to Australia 29-12.
The loss was the Maple Leafs only one of the tournament, having outscored their opponents 168-20 in winning their first five matches.
After finishing day one first in Pool B, the Maple Leafs began cup contention with a 33-5 win over Pride 7s in the quarterfinals before beating Stars 7s 33-10 in the semifinals.
Next up for Canada’s women’s sevens team is the Dubai Sevens, the first round of the 2017-18 HSBC World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series.
Canada’s Maple Leafs roster for Central Coast Sevens:
Olivia Apps – Lindsay RFC (Lindsay, ON)
Emma Chown – Kingston Panthers (Barrie, ON)
Caroline Crossley – Castaway Wanderers (Victoria, BC)
Hannah Darling – Peterborough Pagans (Warsaw, ON)
Julia Greenshields – Sarnia Saints (Sarnia, ON)
Jen Kish – Edmonton Rockers (Edmonton, ON)
Ghislaine Landry – Toronto Scottish (Toronto, ON)
Megan Lukan – Unattached (Barrie, ON)
Kayla Moleschi – Williams Lake Rustlers (Williams Lake, BC)
Breanne Nicholas – London St. Georges RFC (Blenheim, ON)
Sabrina Poulin – TMRRFC (Vaudreuil-Dorion, QC)
Natasha Watcham-Roy – Hull Volant (Gatineau, QC)
Canada's Central Coast Sevens Day 1 Schedule (Friday, October 27):
Maple Leafs 22-5 Avoca Beach
Maple Leafs 24-0 Sunnybank
Maple Leafs 56-0 Cook Islands
Canada's Central Coast Sevens Day 1 Schedule (Saturday, October 28):
Maple Leafs 33-5 Pride 7s
Maple Leafs 33-10 Stars 7s
Maple Leafs 12-29 Australia