Canada Win Bronze at Biarritz and Claim 3rd Place in Series While Earning a Trip to the 2020 Olympics: FULL MATCH VIDEOS
Canada 12 v France 5
Canada kept possession for most of the first four minutes going through phase after phase while remaining patient. Finally they found some space outside with Crossley one on one, she cut back in and beat her defender for Canada's first score. Landry was a bit off the boot this tournament and the conversion missed, 5-0. Canada won possession from the kickoff but knocked it on, the ref got tired of the french scrum half delaying the ball at the scrum and awarded Canada a free kick. They tapped and found Farella on the outside, she beat a couple of defenders and put it under the sticks. Landry converts this one, 12-0, and that's how the half ends. The second half was a stalemate, France upped the defensive pressure and Canada's attack stalled as they found it difficult with less time and space however Canada's defence remained strong and held France to one unconverted try for a 12-5 win and onto the semis vs NZ.
Canada v New Zealand
Julia Greenshields was out due to injury on Day 2 - the loss of speed on defence was noticeable in this match. NZ scored two early tries both a result of slow cross cover on defence, 14-0. Canada got one back with Paquin crossing the line 14-7 and that's how the half ended. NZ scored first in the second half, some of the Canadian players were barely moving on defence now and fresh legs needed to come on, 21-7. Landry, Paquin, Nicholas came off and Chown, Lukan and Wardley came on. Canada finished off the match with a try by Charity Williams, 21-12 and they'll face Spain in the Bronze match. Spain were surprise winners over Australia in the quarter-finals.
Canada v Spain
Spain had knocked off Australia, a team Canada has had difficulty getting by and the reigning Olympic champions. Canada were now missing Julia Greenshields and Ghislaine Landry who limped off the field against NZ so they had a short bench. Canada had however defeated Spain in their last five encounters. Canada were fired up on defence and put Spain under a lot of pressure, that paid off as Canada turned over possession inside the Spanish 22 then a strong run by Wardley, recyled by Nicholas and Farella crossed the line. Nicholas was now taking the conversions and was on target but just short, 5-0. Brittany Benn scored a solo try as she backed herself when she saw a gap between defenders and no sweeper, she put it under the posts and Nicholas converted 12-0. Spain kept possession and aided by a couple of penalties found themselves with a lineout 5 metres out from Canada's line, a couple of phases later they powered over under the posts, 12-7 at the half. Spain scored first in the second half, Canada were falling off their tackles and were losing the battle at the contact area, some fresh bodies were needed or a big effort from the tired bodies on the field, Spain were ahead 14-12. Canada were keeping possession and slowly moving down field, it was a nervous time, Farella had Williams unmarked on the outside but threw a dud of a pass that rolled along the ground and Spain now had the ball with 3 minutes left. Canada needed to turn the ball over and it happened in spectacular fashion as Spain decided to chip the ball ahead, Nicholas dove and blocked the kick, Williams picked it up and ran the length of the pitch. It was an unusual finish, Canada looked tired and battered by the end, they could have used those two injured bodies on the bench but they showed great mental toughness and tenacity to claim Bronze and 3rd place overall in the series. Well done!
Canada Qualify for Olympics with Cup Round Appearance Going 2-1 on Day 1: Face Host France in Quarter-Finals: FULL MATCH VIDEOS
Canada 22 v Spain 19
Canada started the game strong, even though a few handling errors crept in, the ball remained in Canada's possession. They went up 12-0 through tries by Landry and Benn with four minutes gone. Farella finished out the scoring in the first half and Canada were comfortably ahead 17-0 at HT. Canada were playing with an edge in contact with Benn in particular standing out. Spain scored first in the second half to get within 12 points 17-5. Emma Chown came on and had good acceleration to break through the gap but didn't have the long range pace to make the line, she was tackled a few metres from the line but Moleschi secured the breakdown and Breanne Nicholas made the final dive over the line, 22-5. Canada dropped their intensity in the last couple of minutes and Spain scored two quick tries to make the game close 22-19.
Canada 27 v Ireland 10
Canada let in their 3rd try in a row as Ireland continued where Spain had left off, 5-0. Then came the fourth try and Canada were down 10-0. They would need to maintain possession and up their defensive effort to get back in the match. A win would qualify them for the Olympics, a loss and they would have to wait for other results. Kaili Lukan answered back for Canada as Lukan and Farella teamed up with some pace on the outside, 10-5. Farella stepped up her game and scored a solo try when Canada needed it most, Landry missed again on the conversion, 10-10. Farella scored again before half but it was the work at the breakdown turning over Ireland's ball that made the try, 15-10 Canada ahead at the half. Kaili Lukan was the hero again as she tracked back to stop a sure try by Ireland, Paquin then poached the ball which was fed to Benn who scored a long range try. That one tackle from Lukan turned the game from a potential 15-15 match into a 22-10 lead for Canada. Fittingly Kaili Lukan closed out the scoring for a 27-10 Canada win and Olympic Qualification.
Canada 14 - Australia 27
Canada scored first through Farella but Australia answered back with four tries before Canada got one back through Charity Williams. Australia emphasized their dominance with a final score at the whistle. Australia have that slight edge over Canada in physicality and speed which is why they've won the last few head to head matches. Canada will have to defeat host France in the quarter-finals if they want to hold onto their 3rd place ranking, Australia are likely to get past Spain in their QF and are only 4 points behind Canada in the standings. The USA are on the same side of the draw as the Australians and they face Russia in the QF, NZ face China in almost a certain win for NZ who will face the winner of Canada v France in the semis.
Biarritz 7s This Weekend: Canada Need 3 Points to Secure Olympic Qualification
Canada only need 3 points from the tournament to ensure a top four finish and Olympic qualification. France, the home country, are sitting in 5th spot with 60 points, if they win the tournament they would go to 80 in the standings. Australia with 74 points would then need 7 points to stay ahead and Canada at 78 points would need 3. If Canada makes the Cup round after Day 1 they've succeeded in claiming a top 4 spot.
Canada face Spain, Ireland and Australia. Canada should go 2-1 and easily make the Cup round, if they're on top form they may knock off the Australians for a 3-0 Day 1. from Rugby Canada
Head Coach John Tait has named his team that will look to secure Olympic qualification at the final HSBC World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series stop in Biarritz, France on June 15-16th, 2019.
With the top-four teams receiving automatic qualification for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, Canada currently sits just two points back from USA in third place with only one stop to go on the series.
After a gold medal in Kitakyushu, Canada just narrowly missed out on the chance to book their ticket to Tokyo on home soil at the Canada Women’s Sevens in Langford last month. The experienced squad quickly regrouped, shifting their focus to the Biarritz Sevens where Olympic qualification is well within their grasp.
“Olympic qualification was the goal we set at the beginning of the year and we’ve been hovering around in a top four spot all season,” said Tait. “We’ve had a couple finishes off the podium, but I think we’ve been pretty consistent with our play. We just want to finish off the season on a high note with some good wins and good performances.”
The roster sees only one change with the addition of Sara Kaljuvee back in the lineup, fresh off a CAN-AM training camp with the National Senior Women’s XV. Joining her will be two powerful forces on the Women’s Sevens squad: Charity Williams and Britt Benn. Both had dominating performances in Langford with Williams notching six tries over the weekend and Benn finishing atop the DHL Performance Tracker.
Leading points scorer Ghislaine Landry will captain her team through the last stop on the series. Canada will take on Australia, Spain, and Ireland in Pool B.
Fans can catch every match live on CBC Sports or watch the delayed broadcast on CBC on Saturday, June 15th and Sunday, June 16th – broadcast times TBC.
1. Britt Benn, Guelph Redcoats (Napanee, ON)
2. Emma Chown, Aurora Barbarians (Barrie, ON)
3. Caroline Crossley, Castaway Wanderers (Victoria, BC)
4. Bianca Farella, Town of Mount Royal RCF (Montreal, QC)
5. Julia Greenshields, Sarnia Saints (Sarnia, ON)
6. Sara Kaljuvee, Toronto Scottish (Ajax, ON)
7. Ghislaine Landry, Toronto Scottish (Toronto, ON)
8. Kaili Lukan, Unattached (Barrie, ON)
9. Kayla Moleschi, Williams Lake Rustlers (Williams Lake, BC)
10. Breanne Nicholas, London St. Georges RFC (Blenheim, ON)
11. Karen Paquin, Castaway Wanderers / CRQ (Quebec City, QC)
12. Keyara Wardley, Okotoks Lions (Vulcan, AB)
13. Charity Williams, Markham Irish (Toronto, ON)
Canada’s Biarritz Sevens Schedule (June 15):
Canada vs. Spain- 6:30am ET/ 3:30am PT
Canada vs. Ireland- 9:14am ET/ 6:14am PT
Canada vs. Australia- 12:20pm ET / 9:20am PT