Canada Finish Fourth After 10-5 Loss to Russia: Julia Greenshields Selected for Dream Team
Canada came up short against Russia in the battle for third. Russia were the better team in the game showing more speed overall and playing solid defence. The game was tied at 5 with Russia scoring late in the second half to go ahead 10-5, Canada got turned over in possession at the whistle as they were trying to even it up.
Julia Greenshields made the tournament dream team and was the best Canada player in the tournament. Brittany Benn deserves honourable mention. Veterans Jen Kish and Ghislaine Landry may be slowing down a step so it will be interesting to see how their form and the team's form picks up over the season. Supporting players like Kayla Moleschi, Hannah Darling and Megan Lukan will have to pick their game up if Canada are to be successful. Breanne Nicholas picked up an injury which was a blow as she was playing well.
The photo sequence below shows how the game ended and why we continue to expound the virtues of wrestling practice for rugby teams. Time had run out, Canada had to maintain possession, the Russian defender, Baizat Khamidova, applied a classic "single leg takedown" technique on Hannah Darling and blew her off the ball. The turnover ended the match. The defence in wrestling to this technique is the same in rugby, moving your legs back to give yourself a stronger base and prevent easy access to someone lifting and driving. If you want to make rucking more instinctual and effective for players, break out the wrestling mats and bring in some grappling expertise.
from Rugby Canada
Canada’s women’s sevens team has opened the 2017-18 HSBC World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series with a fourth place finish at the Dubai Sevens after dropping their bronze medal match 10-5 to Russia.
Canada began the day with a 24-19 extra-time win over France in the cup quarterfinals but fell out of cup contention after a 25-7 loss to Australia in the semifinals.
After taking three wins from three in pool action on day one, Canada lost two of their three matches on day two.
Australia won the cup final over runners-up USA.
Canadian Julia Greenshields finished tied for second in tournament scoring with 35 points and her seven tries were also tied for the second-most in Dubai. Greenshields was named to the tournament Dream Team.
Canada earned 14 series points and sit fourth place in the standings after one round.
Canada will now enjoy a long break between events, as the second leg doesn’t come until the end of January at the Sydney Sevens, a tournament Canada won last season.
What head coach John Tait said:
“We did keep our composure against France after going down a couple of scores in the first half and then finished off clinically in extra-time. That game was physically draining, A lot of contact in that oppressive heat, I think caught up with us as the day went on. We got behind against Australia after they forced us into a couple of turnovers and we got sucked in on defence and they just executed the way they can. The Australians have played quite a few tournaments in their preseason and look like they are in mid-season form already. Saying that we fought back and had our chances to make a game of it but they pulled away again from our turnovers late in the second half. The Russia result is really gutting because we know we are better than that but our tank looked empty and with a shortened bench from Breanne getting injured and inexperience, we struggled big time to get any sort of momentum going. We still had a chance to steal it at the end but Russia were just better than us today and we will have a lot to learn from that one.”
“Not pleased with fourth at all. We had a real opportunity to start the season off with a top-three finish and gain some points on New Zealand but we didn’t and we can make no excuses for it. Hard lessons at the series level when you don’t perform the way you can but we will learn from it and have to be better in Sydney in a couple of months time. There is still a lot of silverware to be had this coming year and some big competitions to look forward to, we will focus on those now.”
Canada's Dubai Sevens Day 2 Schedule (Friday, December 1):
Canada 24-19 France (Cup Quarterfinals) Canada 7-25 Australia (Cup Semifinals) Canada 5-10 Russia (Bronze Medal)
Canada Lose to Australia 25-7 in Cup Semi-Final
It was never really close as Australia put in 3 tries before Canada got on the board with its lone try by Landry. Australia added two more to close the match out.
Canada were too passive on defence to compete against a confident Australia side. Even when Australia were backed up within their own 5 metres Canada were unable or unwilling to apply defensive pressure. Canada now face Russia for 3rd place. USA, who have been the surprise team of the tournament, will face Australia for Gold.
Canada Win Cup QF Match Over France in Overtime
It was tense, Canada had to rely on extra time for the win after Landry failed to hit the conversion that would have won the game in regular time.
France came out fast scoring at 2 and 3 minutes. Canada responded with Greenshields at 5 minutes and Benn at 8 minutes. France went ahead again before Greenshields tied it up at 13 minutes but the conversion close to the posts was missed. Breanne Nicholas scored in overtime for the win.
Greenshields has been the player of the tournament for Canada so far, Benn has been outstanding, veterans Kish and Landry have played well but have more to offer yet. Starters like Kayla Moleschi have struggled and may have lost their starting spot, replacement Breanne Nicholas might have worked her way into a starting role.
Canada face Australia in one semi, while surprise winners USA, who defeated NZ, take on Russia in the other semi.
Canada Finish 3-0 on Day 1: Wins Over Spain, Ireland, Fiji: FULL MATCH VIDEOS
Julia Greenshields looked lethal in finishing on Day 1 running in 3 tries against Fiji, and 2 against Spain. With Charity Williams and Bianca Farella missing due to injury the team needed some finishing speed. Brittany Benn looked strong as did Jen Kish, Ghislaine Landry looked very much the general organizing the attack and gauging when to impose herself onto the match. Canada face France in the quarters. France narrowly defeated USA, took down South Africa comfortably but lost to NZ by 21 points. Australia v England are in the other half of the draw. On the other side of the draw NZ v USA and Spain v Russia compete for a spot in the final.
CANADA V IRELAND
CANADA V FIJI
from Rugby Canada
Canada’s women’s sevens team has advanced to their 27th straight HSBC World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series Cup Quarterfinal after finishing day one of the Dubai Sevens with a perfect 3-0 record.
Canada opened the season with a 19-0 win over Spain before defeating Ireland 31-0 in their second match of the day and finished with a 31-14 victory over Fiji to claim top spot in Pool C.
Canada did not concede a point until the match against Fiji and outscored their opponents 81-14 in taking three wins from three.
"Was really happy with the composure we showed today," said head coach John Tait. "We had a couple of handling errors but didn’t allow it to turn into any points and we stuck to our structures and got a comfortable win in the end. Then we hit our stride against Ireland and had contributions from all 12 and were clinical in some pretty challenging heat. We didn’t panic when Fiji scored the first try off of a few aggressive penalties we took and in the end again we had everyone step up and contribute to the result."
Julia Greenshields led the way on attack for Canada, scoring five tries including a hat-trick against Fiji. She finished the day second in tournament scoring with 25 points. Captain Ghislaine Landry, the all-time series scoring leader, chipped in with 20 points but also provided some muscle on the defensive end.
"Julia is filling her role as our finisher really well," said Tait. "The ladies on the inside are getting her the ball in space and when that happens she is really dangerous with her speed. Thought Ghislaine did great again today, really stepped up big on defense against Fiji."
Emma Chown and Tausani Levale also made their senior team debuts, as both players touched down with their first career WSS tries. Canada will play France in the Cup Quarterfinals.
"We have France who played some good rugby today and are always a tough physical game for us," said Tait. "We are confident though if we keep building from today that we can get the result against them."
Canada Win First Match 19-0 Over Spain
Canada came out very flat in the first half, several dropped passes, bobbled balls, lapses in judgement and it was 0-0 at half time.
Two key subs in the second half, Caroline Crossley and Hannah Darling came off and Jen Kish and Breanne Nicholas came on, things changed. Jen Kish and Ghislaine Landry (1) teamed up for the first try and Julia Greenshields (2) found her form, Canada ran in three tries.
A good second half comeback after a shaky start. Next up is Ireland who defeated Fiji.
Britt Benn – Guelph Redcoats (Napanee, 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) Tausani Levale – Abbotsford Griffins (Abbotsford, BC) 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) Natasha Watcham-Roy – Hull Volant (Gatineau, QC)