Canada Women Finish 4th in Dubai, Men Finish 12th
The women started Day 2 with a quarter-final win over Ireland 14-12, scoring for Canada were Charity Williams and Krissy Scurfield, Chloe Daniels kicked both conversions.
The women lost to NZ in the semi-final, 21-19, scoring for Canada were Charity Williams, Florence Symonds and Carissa Norsten with conversions by Chloe Daniels and Asia Hogan-Rochester.
In the 3rd/4th playoff it was France defeating Canada 26-5 with Olivia Apps scoring Canada’s lone try.
The team go to the second tournament in Cape Town in 4th place, a good start for them. Winning the tournament were Australia, NZ 2nd and France 3rd.
The men’s team didn’t do as well going winless in the tournament and going to Cape Town in last place. They lost their 9th place semi-final to Great Britain 21-14 with scores by Phil Berna and Kal Sager, converted by Cooper Coats. They then lost the 11th place match 19-14 to Spain, scoring for Canada were Jack Carson and Kal Sager, Cooper Coats converting.
South Africa won the men’s tournament, Argentina was 2nd and NZ 3rd.
Canada Women 2-1 on Day 1 Reach Cup Quarter-Finals; Men 0-3 in Consolation Bracket
The men started lively with a close 26-21 loss to NZ and then fell of the pace to go 0-3 on Day 1. The first match was one they should have won but as the World Rugby report (below) summarized the men’s performance “Canada had their chances but repeatedly spilled the ball in promising positions”. That was the story of their Day 1. They find themselves in the Consolation round with Great Britain as their opponent, the other teams vying for places 9 to 12 are France and Spain. Rankings 9 to 12 at the end of the season will enter the relegation tournament.
The women started on the opposite foot, they were blown out by France in their first match but got stronger as the day progressed, defeating USA in OT and then demolishing Spain to finish 2nd in their pool behind France. They’ll face Ireland in the Cup QF, other teams vying for rankings 1 to 8 are NZ v Brazil, France v Fiji, USA v Australia.
Canada 0 – France 29
Canada 15 – USA 10
Scorers: Krissy Scurfield (1T), Charity Williams (1T), Carissa Norsten (1T)
Canada 38 – Spain 12
Scorers: Florence Symonds (1T), Caroline Crossley (1T), Charity Williams (1T), Piper Logan (1T), Asia Hogan-Rochester (1T, 2C), Carissa Norsten (1T), Chloe Daniels (2C)
Canada 21 – NZ 26
Scorers: Josiah Morra (1T), Jake Thiel (1T), Matt Oworu (1T), Cooper Coats (3C)
Canada 14 – South Africa 35
Scorers: Kal Sager (1T), Lockie Kratz (1T, 1C), Cooper Coats (1C)
Canada 0 – Samoa 24
WOMEN’S REPORT (from World Rugby)
Australia and France were in ominous form on a mixed opening day for series champions New Zealand at the Emirates Dubai 7s, the first event of the HSBC SVNS 2024 season.
In a revamped format, Brazil took advantage of the new losing bonus-point system to qualify for the quarter-finals as one of the two best third-placed teams.
POOL A: FERNS MADE TO FIGHT
In a tricky pool, defending series champions New Zealand were given an almighty scare in their opening match against South Africa, who returned as a core team for the first time since 2014-15.
The Black Ferns Sevens, missing World Rugby Sevens Player of the Year 2023 Tyla Nathan-Wong, needed a last-minute try from Sarah Hirini before prevailing 19-14. South Africa had taken the lead thanks to an outrageous fingers-tips pass and off-the-floor offload from Zintle Mpupha.
They proved the performance was no fluke by pushing Fiji close in their next game before going down 21-17, but defeat to Great Britain meant the Springbok Women’s Sevens missed out on the quarter-finals.
With both teams already through, the Black Ferns Sevens then topped the pool with an entertaining 29-21 victory over Fiji. Earlier, a comfortable win against Great Britain was marred by a serious-looking injury to New Zealand captain Hirini.
“She’s in our thoughts,” team-mate Stacey Waaka said. “We have her back until the death.”
POOL B: LEVI STARS FOR AUSTRALIA
The leading try scorer in the 2023 sevens series with 57, Maddison Levi picked up where she left off last season to score twice in the first three minutes of Australia’s 39-0 victory against Brazil as they began the defence of their Dubai title in style.
Levi, whose sister Teagan is also in the squad, then scored a hat-trick as Australia beat Japan 66-0. Ireland were also comfortable winners against Japan, then snuck past Brazil to set up a pool decider.
But Australia – with Maddison Levi adding two more tries – were just too strong, winning 33-5. Charlotte Caslick said of team-mate Levi. “We have to defend her all the time in training and it’s no easy task, that for sure. She’s fast but also so strong and powerful, so if she doesn’t go round you, she goes through you.”
Brazil’s victory over Japan and losing bonus point against Ireland were enough to earn them a quarter-final place.
POOL C: LES BLEUES CRUISE
For the first time in the SVNS, a game went to sudden death as Canada (ninth) defied last season’s final standings to beat USA (third) and blow the pool wide open behind France. Carissa’s Norsten’s golden-point try in overtime sparked jubilant celebrations by a team who beat their North American rivals just once in six series games last season.
With fourth-ranked team France winning both their opening games comfortably, USA needed victory to leapfrog Les Bleues at the top of the pool.
But the Women’s Eagles Sevens gifted Lily Dezou two first-half tries and conceded four more, including an outrageous solo effort from 15s star Joanna Grisez, as France romped home 38-5.
“We are very happy,” France’s Caroline Drouin said. “It was a great day, three wins. It wasn’t an easy group but we’ve got to do better tomorrow. We’re very excited about the Olympics in Paris. We’ll do as much preparation as we can to do well at home.”
Kris Thomas’ consolation effort wasn’t enough to earn USA a bonus point but they did enough to qualify for the quarter-finals as one of the two best third-place teams.
France-Fiji looks like the pick of Sunday’s quarter-finals, while Brazil play David to New Zealand’s Goliath. Ireland-Canada and USA against Australia complete the line-up.
MEN’S REPORT (from World Rugby)
Blitzboks beat All Blacks Sevens, Australia scrape through but France in need of inspiration on day one of series opener.
Seven of last season’s top eight qualified for the men’s quarter-finals after day one of the Emirates Dubai 7s, the first event of a revamped HSBC SVNS 2024.
Only France, who are expected to be joined by 15s superstar Antoine Dupont later in the series, missed out, while USA were one of three teams to benefit from the introduction of losing bonus points.
POOL A: BLITZBOKS ON TOP
In a pool expected to be competitive, a slow start nearly cost 2023 series champions New Zealand. Canada, chasing their first series win against the All Blacks Sevens in six years, took a shock 21-12 lead, but were hampered by injuries to three players, eventually going down 26-21.
Seventh-ranked South Africa, boosted by the return of veteran winger Rosko Specman from 15s, capitalised on Samoa errors and a yellow card to win their opener 22-14.
That left Samoa needing to take something from New Zealand in their next group game, and they nearly took all three points thanks to Malakesi Masefau’s try from quick tap to put them 12-7 ahead at half-time. But Brady Rush’s last-gasp solo effort made it two wins from two for the All Blacks Sevens and left Samoa in a straight shootout with Canada for the final quarter-final berth.
Canada had their chances but repeatedly spilled the ball in promising positions, while Samoa were clinical, winning 24-0 with a pair of tries apiece from Masefau and BJ Lima.
In the pool decider, South Africa roared back to beat New Zealand 21-19, Ronald Brown and Masande Mtshali scoring late tries to secure victory.
POOL B: AUSTRALIA SCRAPE THROUGH
Ireland shocked Australia 19-12 in the opening round of men’s games. Two tries before half-time, the first through the pace and footwork of World Rugby Men’s Sevens Player of the Year 2022, Terry Kennedy gave Ireland a half-time lead they never surrendered against the 2022 series champions.
After a hat-trick from that man Kennedy eased Ireland past Spain, four tries from Argentina in as many first-half minutes against Australia left the reigning Cathay/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens champions on the brink of a pool-stage exit.
But a 25-7 victory against Spain put Australia through as one of the two best third-placed teams, leaving Nick Malouf, for one, relieved.
“Doing what we’d spoken about for the first time today was the most pleasing thing,” the Australia captain said. “Tomorrow’s a whole new day so we’ll put our best foot forward.”
With both teams having already qualified, Argentina topped the pool after beating Ireland 17-7.
POOL C: USA BOUNCE BACK TO REACH LAST EIGHT
Fiji, without a series tournament win since Toulouse in May 2022, were run close by USA before captain Joseva Talacolo (pictured) reached over to score in the closing seconds.
The double Olympic champions then faced France in one of the pool phase’s heavyweight clashes. Les Bleus struck first but a trio of quickfire tries from the Flying Fijians showcased all their attributes – fearsome fends, fabulous footwork and outrageous offloading – and they never looked back. They eventually ran out 40-5 winners with Terio Tamani dropping four conversions to go with his hat-trick of tries.
It was USA who reacted better to defeat, beating France 26-14 to top the pool and join Fiji – who lost to Great Britain in the final game of the day – in the last eight.
“I’m pleased,” Men’s Eagles Sevens head coach Mike Friday said. “We left four of our senior players at home in pre-season but the young men embraced the opportunity. We controlled the ball against a very physical team.”
USA’s reward for topping Pool C is a quarter-final showdown with New Zealand on Sunday. South Africa play Australia, Ireland take on Fiji and Samoa-Argentina completes the line-up.
Rugby Canada Announce Men’s & Women’s Rosters for Dubai 7s – Kickoff on Friday Dec 1st at 9pm PT
The Canadian teams for the initial tournament of the 2023-24 World Rugby 7s series in Dubai have been announced.
The men’s team had to fight hard to get to this point, they won the four team relegation tournament in May to earn the right to stay on the series. The men’s series reduced the number of teams from 16 to 12 and three teams were cut, Kenya, Uruguay, Japan, plus the invitational spot in each tournament was eliminated.
The women’s tournament last year didn’t have relegation as they only had 11 core teams and added South Africa as the 12th team this season.
Comparing the teams to the selections for the Olympic qualifiers in August there are a few changes. On the men’s side Jake Thiel is back healthy and on the squad, the same applies to Max Stewart. Cody Nhanala will get his first opportunity to play on the 7s series if he’s selected as one of the 12 for game day from the 13 travelling to the tournament. Missing this tournament are Brock Webster and Elias Ergas.
On the women’s side Olivia de Couvreur comes into the roster as does Charity Williams, Caroline Crossley, Carissa Norsten, Piper Logan, Shalaya Valenzuela. Missing from the Olympic qualifying team are Justine Pelletier, Breanne Nicholas, Julia Greenshields, Sophie de Goede, Maddy Grant.
CANADA’S WOMEN’S SEVENS ROSTER
1. Olivia De Couvreur (Ottawa, ON) – Ottawa Irish
6. Charity Williams (Toronto, ON) – Markham Irish
7. Florence Symonds (Hong Kong) – University of British Columbia
10. Fancy Bermudez (Edmonton, AB) – NorWester Athletic Association / Westshore RFC
11. Piper Logan (Calgary, AB) – Calgary Hornets / University of British Columbia
13. Krissy Scurfield (Canmore, AB) – University of Victoria
16. Alysha Corrigan (Charlottetown, PEI) – CRFC
19. Carissa Norsten (Waldheim, SK) – Kirin RFC / University of Victoria
21. Olivia Apps (Lindsay, ON) – Lindsay RFC
23. Shalaya Valenzuela (Abbotsford, BC) – Abbotsford RFC
24. Asia Hogan-Rochester (Toronto, ON) – Toronto Nomads RFC
35. Caroline Crossley (Victoria, BC) – Castaway Wanderers
77. Chloe Daniels (Sutton, ON) Aurora Barbarians / Queen’s University
CANADA’S MEN’S SEVENS ROSTER
2. Jake Thiel (Victoria, B.C.) – James Bay AA
4. Phil Berna (Vancouver, B.C.) – Vancouver Rowing Club
5. Alex Russell (Chichester, ENG) – McGill University
6. Josiah Morra (Toronto, ON) – Castaway Wanderers / Toronto Saracens
8. Cooper Coats (Halifax, NS) – Halifax Tars
12. David Richard (Milton, Ont.) – Mississauga Blues RFC
19. Matthew Oworu (Calgary, AB) – Pacific Pride
21. Max Stewart (Cape Town, RSA) – Pacific Pride
23. Thomas Isherwood (Okotoks, AB) – Foothills Lions RFC
33. Kal Sager (Peterborough, Ont.) – Peterborough Pagans / Trent University
44. Lockie Kratz (Victoria, B.C.) – Castaway Wanderers / NOLA Gold
59. Cody Nhanala (Ottawa, ON – Ottawa Ospreys / Pacific Pride
99. Jack Carson (Victoria, B.C.) – University of British Columbia
from Rugby Canada
Canada’s Women’s and Men’s Sevens Teams kick-off the 2024 HSBC SVNS Series this December in Dubai, UAE, and rosters have been named by Head Coaches Jack Hanratty and Sean White.
The Sevens Stadium Dubai is host to the first stop of the newly rebranding HSBC SVNS Series, the first of eight tournaments featuring 12 women’s and 12 men’s teams. Prior to arriving in Dubai, Canada’s Women’s Sevens Team will train in Abu Dhabi alongside New Zealand, France and Brazil, coinciding with the inaugural Abu Dhabi 7s Festival hosted at the Abu Dhabi Cricket & Sports Hub.
Nine players return from Canada’s silver medal women’s sevens Santiago 2023 Pan American Games squad, including Carissa Norsten, who made her international sevens debut in Chile earlier this month with a three-try performance. Florence Symonds, Krissy Scurfield, Olivia Apps and Fancy Bermudez—the Mastercard Player of the Match in Canada’s recent victory over France—cross back over to sevens following a second-place finish at the inaugural WXV tournament in New Zealand. All four players made their international 15s debut this year ahead of WXV, earning opportunities to start matches against top unions such as England, New Zealand, and France.
“It’s been a big number of weeks for Canadian women’s rugby. We had some great performances and big learnings to take away from the Pan Am Games, and the four players who rejoin from WXV earned valuable time in big pressure moments,” said Jack Hanratty, Head Coach of Canada’s Women’s Sevens Team. “We are excited about the 13 traveling, and know we also have a great group back home that is preparing for the season ahead. The focus this month has been reconnecting as a group and assessing our Pan Am performances. Individual attacking strengths, as well as clarity in defensive roles has and will continue to be a theme for the group. We are also excited for the unique opportunity we have this week to scrimmage with other top nations in Abu Dhabi, prior to our arrival in Dubai.”
Eight players from Canada’s Men’s Sevens Team that won bronze at the recent Pam American Games in Santiago, Chile will be on the field representing Canada in Dubai to begin the 2024 HSBC SVNS Series. Changes to the roster from Santiago to Dubai include the additions of former Pacific Pride players Max Stewart, who debuted with the team earlier this year, and Cody Nhanala, who debuted in 2021 with Canada’s Sevens Team. Cooper Coats, Matthew Oworu and Josiah Morra also join the squad after competing with Canada’s Men’s Rugby Team at the La Vila International Rugby Cup in Spain the past few weeks.
“Returning from Santiago our group is training with more purpose. We are aware that at times we got away with some mistakes that will hurt us more on the World Series. But that’s the game. It’s fast paced, relentless and unforgiving,” said Sean White, Head Coach of Canada’s Men’s Sevens Team. “To match that, we’ve emphasized the execution of our core skills, being intentional in our roles, and clinical accuracy in the contact area. Little things become big things and that has been our focus over the past two weeks.”
DUBAI POOL PLAY SCHEDULE
Saturday December 2
Canada’s Women’s Sevens Team vs France
9:00 p.m. PT (Friday December 1) / 12:00 a.m. ET / 9:00 a.m. local time
Canada’s Men’s Sevens Team vs New Zealand
10:50 p.m. PT (Friday December 1) / 1:50 a.m. ET / 10:50 a.m. local time
Canada’s Women’s Sevens Team vs the USA
11:37 p.m. PT (Friday December 1) / 2:37 a.m. ET / 11:37 a.m. local time
Canada’s Men’s Sevens Team vs South Africa
2:58 a.m. PT / 5:58 a.m. ET / 2:58 p.m. local time
Canada’s Women’s Sevens Team vs Spain
3:45 a.m. PT / 6:45 a.m. ET / 3:45 p.m. local time
Canada’s Men’s Sevens Team vs Samoa
7:38 a.m. PT / 10:38 a.m. ET / 7:38 p.m. local time
Following the Dubai tournament, both teams will travel to South Africa for Cape Town SVNS (December 9-10, 2023). The first tournament of the new year will take place in Perth over January 26-28, 2024. Catch both teams in action on home soil at HSBC Vancouver Sevens (February 23-25, 2024) at BC Place. Buy tickets now at vansevens.com.
For the most up to date information on the HSBC SVNS Series and live coverage, including details on the event format, the schedule and the latest news, visit the official website: https://www.svns.com/en
Dubai 7s Kicks Off on December 2nd – Pools Announced
The Canadian Men will be in Pool A with NZ, South Africa and Samoa, the Women will be in Pool C with USA, France and Spain.
The format is different this year, there are only 12 teams in the men’s competition, to match up with the existing format in the women’s competition. There are 3 pools of 4 teams so the Cup round of each tournament will include the top two from each pool plus the best two 3rd place teams.
At the last stop on the Series, in Madrid, the top 8 teams will compete in the Championship bracket while the bottom 4 teams will compete in the Consolation bracket along with the top 4 teams from the Tier 2 Challenger Series. The top 4 teams in the Consolation bracket will become part of the 2024-25 Series, the bottom 4 become part of the Challenger Series in 2024-25.
|Dubai||The Sevens||Dubai||2–3 December 2023|
|South Africa||Cape Town Stadium||Cape Town||9–10 December 2023|
|Australia||Perth Rectangular Stadium||Perth||26–28 January 2024|
|Canada||BC Place||Vancouver||23–25 February 2024|
|United States||Dignity Health Sports Park||Los Angeles||2–3 March 2024|
|Hong Kong||Hong Kong Stadium||Hong Kong||5–7 April 2024|
|Singapore||National Stadium||Singapore||3–5 May 2024|
|Spain||Metropolitano Stadium||Madrid||31 May – 2 June 2024|
The Dubai 7s pools/results are at: https://www.dubairugby7s.com/schedule-results/