RWC 2022 – Canada v France – Bronze Medal Match

Canada Fall to France 36-0 in RWC Bronze Medal Match: Post Match Comments by Sophie de Goede and Kevin Rouet

There’s not a lot to say about the match, the post match comments by Captain Sophie de Goede and Coach Kevin Rouet sum it up. There’s also the Canadian Press article appended below.

It was a sad way to leave the tournament after giving so much on the way to the Bronze medal match. As both player and coach mention in their comments, they didn’t show up. Rouet goes on to ponder whether that was physically or emotionally but it was evident in their play.

What’s the future now for the women’s XVs program? A number of players will retire, even Sophie de Goede questions her future and how rugby and work will balance in her life. With her Commerce degree it would be good for Rugby Canada to retain her on a paid contract to map out and create a report on “A Sustainable Future for the Women’s XVs Program in Canada”.


On the match

“France played really well today, they were the better team on the day, which was disappointing for us. They outplayed us today. But I’m really proud of the way we’ve played throughout the tournament. Today wasn’t our day, but hopefully it’s good building blocks.

“It was hard. France played a great game. As Kevin said, we want respect and I think part of earning respect is being honest, and if we’re honest with ourselves we didn’t show up today. We have a lot of work to do when we go back home to improve. I think we have the potential to do that – we’ve shown that at times, but for us it’s about consistently building over the next three years so that we can compete for the World Cup in 2024.”

On the tournament

“I don’t think we played to our potential today, but also credit to France for playing really well, but I don’t think we really showed up, which is disappointing for the last game of the tournament because we’ve been playing so well and building every single game. We’ll need to go back and do our homework and figure out why that was and not allow that to happen in the next World Cup.”

On her future as a player

“I wish I knew. I don’t know. I wish I could give you a good answer. I’ve always wanted to focus on my career as well as rugby. I’ve just finished a commerce degree, so I’d like to find something that I can do in conjunction with my rugby to become a well-rounded athlete and person. What that is yet, and how I can continue to grow as a rugby player during that process, I’m not sure yet.”

On the need to combine a career and elite-level rugby

“Currently, in Canada, you’re almost forced to do that because we’re not paid as rugby players, so you need to have a career. I’d love to be able to do it where I can fully invest in the rugby and have something on the side, which sounds weird to say I want to be 100% focused on rugby but also have a career on the side but I think as humans we’re capable of so much. I’d love to be one of the best rugby players but also have a career and continue to grow in that aspect of life, as well.”

On personal and team development

“I’ve learned the power of a true team and genuinely being able to work together and rely on each other in tough times. But also wanting to spend all our free time together and feeling an actual connection with every single person – being able to walk into a room or an elevator and make conversation or give someone a hug when they’re down.

“I think our team is a true team and we enjoy spending time together and that’s what’s going to carry us through. This is a pretty disappointing finish to the tournament but I think the genuine connectedness and togetherness and love that we feel for each other will power us through this. We will be resilient and we’ll come back stronger.”

On the future of Canadian women’s rugby

“We’re at a really important crossroads, here, where the professionalism of women’s rugby is taking off. We can be a flagship programme for women’s rugby but specifically North American women’s rugby. Us and the US can be really strong, but we don’t have the rugby cultures yet, or the capabilities within our unions. I only know about Rugby Canada but I think if we can invest in women’s rugby in North America we can be powerhouses of the game.”


On Canada’s performance in the bronze final

“I think we didn’t show up today, for sure. We need to review if it was emotional or physical but that was a no-show for us. France played very well in every aspect of the game, so they deserved the win today.”

On mental preparations after the semi-final loss to England

“I think we didn’t prepare well for this game. I think I didn’t see that mentally and physically – but you could see it in this game, after 10 to 15 minutes, we weren’t there. It’s a good lesson for us.”

On Canada’s development throughout the tournament

“I’m proud of them, for sure. We built that in eight months. I’m pretty confident we’ll be better in the next cycle. It’s only three years, so we know we have to catch up, but we have three years to do it.”

On the short-term future for the squad

“This is a tough question. I hope we’re going to keep going. The sacrifice they made for the last six, seven months is great – but they could play in a World Cup so now we can see if this group can keep going again, even if it’s not a World Cup year next year. That’s always a challenge for us. I hope we can help them stay together but I can’t tell you exactly what’s going on for this group next year.”

On the development of women’s rugby in Canada

“The way we do it right now is players who want to play rugby need to go outside Canada. That’s not sustainable. Right now, we try to rely on other countries. It will depend on investment from World Rugby and from our partners – we are very dependent on that. If there is investment, we will be close to something. If there is nothing, we are nowhere.”


Canada’s Rugby World Cup campaign ended in disappointment Saturday, beaten 36-0 by France in the bronze-medal match in Auckland, New Zealand.

The fourth-ranked French were better in just about every phase, outkicking, outrunning and outhitting the third-ranked Canadian women, who perhaps left their ‘A’ game in last weekend’s gritty semifinal loss to top-ranked England.

“We didn’t show up. We know it,” said Canada’s French-born coach Kevin Rouet. “It was not a good performance for us. Congrats to France. They played a great game.”

Defending champion New Zealand rallied to beat England 34-31 in the final that followed Canada’s match.

England went into the championship game riding a 30-match win streak dating back to a 28-13 loss to the Black Ferns at the Women’s Rugby Super Series.

France’s win will move them above Canada into third place in the rankings.

The French team dominated Canada 36-0 in the Rugby World Cup bronze medal game.
It marked the third time in a row — and seventh in nine editions of the World Cup — that France has finished third at the tournament. The French have lost the bronze-medal match just once, beaten by Australia in 2010.

Canada’s best finish was second in 2014 when it lost 21-9 to England in the final. The Canadians were fifth last time out, in 2017 in Ireland.

Marine Menager scored two tries while Madoussou Fall, Pauline Bourdon, Annaelle Deshaye added singles for France, which led 22-0 at the half. Caroline Drouin booted four conversions and a penalty.

The Canadians had a territorial edge in the second half but often shot themselves in the foot with handling errors when they did make ground.

“We’ll look to build on this,” said Canada captain Sophie de Goede, who was impressive throughout the tournament. “We want to earn respect and part of earning respect is being honest about performance and we weren’t good enough today, so full credit to France.”

Despite the loss Saturday, the Canadian women have turned heads since opening the tournament with a 41-5 win over No. 12 Japan, showing off a powerful pack and elusive backs. They were the only non-professional side to make the final four, without centralized contracts and with many putting day jobs aside to represent their country.

Canada gave England all it could handle before falling 26-19 in last weekend’s semifinal. The French lost a 25-24 nail-biter to New Zealand in the other semifinal, denied the win when a last-minute penalty kick drifted just wide.

Canada came into the third-place match with a 7-8-0 record against the French but had won the previous four meetings. France’s last win over the Canadian women came in 2013, a 27-19 decision on home turf in Pontarlier.

The two sides had World Cup history. France downed Canada in the third-place game in 2002 in Barcelona (41-7) and 2006 in Edmonton (17-8). Canada also lost the third-place match to England (31-15) in 1998.

It was a sunny but breezy afternoon at Eden Park with temperatures around 29 Celsius.

For the sixth game in a row at the tournament, the French held their opposition scoreless in the first 20 minutes with Canada playing into the wind in the first half.

France kicked effectively early, pinning the Canadians in their end with a 50-22 kick. Six phases later after the lineout, the six-foot-two Fall crashed over in the 12th minute for a converted try and 7-0 lead.

The French scrum was rock-solid and the forwards kept battering away at the Canadian defence. Drouin upped the lead to 10-0 with a penalty in the 21st minute after a Canadian infraction near its try-line.

After spending much of the half playing defence, the Canadians attacked late in the half only to be penalized for not releasing the ball in the tackle.

From the ensuing penalty, France drove back up the field. Centre Gabrielle Vernier sliced through the Canadian line, beating Canadian fly half Alex Tessier, and passed to Bourdon for a converted try in the 36th minute and a 17-0 lead.

Another 50-22 kick gave France a lineout deep in the Canadian end and Menager went over in the corner after a slickly executed attack down the blind side from the driving maul.

The French kept coming in the second half with tries by Annaelle Deshaye (42nd) and Menager (61st).

France’s Vernier was sent to the sin bin in the 62nd minute for a high tackle. Vernier got the worst of the collision but got the yellow card.

Having used all its replacements, France played with 13 women late in the game with Vernier in the bin and Menager forced off with an injury.

Canada also lost forward Emma Taylor to injury in the dying minutes.

Rouet, who now makes his home in Quebec City, made two changes to his matchday squad with Sara Svoboda slotting in at blindside flanker for Fabiola Forteza, who shifted to the bench. Taylor replaced Ngalula Fuamba among the replacements.
Veteran Canadian flanker Karen Paquin savours 1 more Rugby World Cup adventure
French coach Thomas Darracq made one change to his starting 15, slotting in Assia Khalfaoui at prop for just her third test start. The French matchday 23 features five players who won bronze at the 2017 tournament.

Emotions ran high during the anthems with 35-year-old Canadian flanker Karen Paquin close to tears.

Fullback Elissa Alarie, in her third World Cup, earned her 47th cap in her final game for Canada. The 36-year-old from Trois-Rivieres, Que., has also been a stalwart for the Canadian sevens team.

Veteran lock Tyson Beukeboom moved into sole possession of second place on Canada’s all-time women’s 15s cap list, coming off the bench to make her 56th national team appearance. Gillian Florence, who retired in 2010, tops the list with 67 Canadian caps.

Prop Olivia DeMerchant earned her 54th cap, passing sisters Laura and Kelly Russell for fourth place in the Canadian women’s record book. Kelly has retired while Laura missed this World Cup through injury.

The Canadian women won three straight to take Pool B before dispatching the seventh-ranked Americans 32-11 in the quarterfinal.

France finished runner-up to England in Pool C at 2-1-0 before downing No. 5 Italy 39-3 in the quarterfinals.

*Coach Kevin Rouet Names Canada Team to Face France in Bronze Medal Match: Two Changes to Match Day Roster*

Coach Kevin Rouet has only made a couple of changes to the match day 23. Sara Svoboda replaces Fabiola Forteza as the starting blindside flanker, Forteza is on the bench. In the reserves, Emma Taylor replaces Ngalula Fuamba as a second row replacement. Canada again will go with a 7-1 split, backing their forward power and dealing with the realities of injuries to key backline players.

Coverage is on TSN 1 on Friday at 7pm PT.

from Rugby Canada

Canada’s Women’s rugby team have confirmed their roster for this Friday’s Rugby World Cup Bronze Medal game against France Eden Park, live on TSN 1 from 7 p.m. PT and 10 p.m. ET.

Head coach Kevin Rouet has made two changes to his matchday squad, Sara Svoboda coming into the starting roster with Emma Taylor earning a spot in the reserves.

Canada came within one score of beating a fully-professional England side in the Semi-Finals and will look to finish on a high against a quality French team that had a penalty kick to advance to the World Cup final last week.

Fullback Elissa Alarie is named to start in what will be her final game for Canada, with lock Tyson Beukeboom set to move into second-place on Canada’s all-time Women’s 15s cap list when she joins the action off bench.

Canada’s Women’s rugby team head coach, Kevin Rouet said: “We’re excited about this group who will represent us for the final time at this World Cup.”

“We felt the roster could benefit from some fresh energy at this stage of the tournament, and Sara and Emma have trained well to earn this opportunity.

“France are a good team, and we will have to be at our best to get the bronze medal but achieving that has been our team’s sole focus this week and we’ll be ready to play when we arrive to Eden Park.”


Friday’s game against England will be shown live on TSN 1. Coverage begins from 7:00 p.m. PT and 10:00 p.m. ET.


1. Olivia DeMerchant (Mapledale, NB) – Halifax Tars RFC
2. Emily Tuttosi (Souris, MB) – Calgary Hornets / Exeter Chiefs
3. DaLeaka Menin (Vulcan, AB) – Calgary Hornets / Exeter Chiefs
4. Courtney Holtkamp (Rimbey, AB) – Red Deer Titans
5. McKinley Hunt (King City, ON) – Aurora Barbarians / Exeter Chiefs
6. Sara Svoboda (Belleville, ON) – Brantford Harlequins / Belleville Bulldogs / Loughborough Lightning
7. Karen Paquin (Quebec City, QC – Club de rugby de Québec / Les Lionnes du Stade Bordelais
8. Sophie de Goede (Victoria, BC) – Castaway Wanderers RFC
9. Justine Pelletier (Riviere-du-Loup, QC) – Riviere-du-Loup, QC
10. Alexandra Tessier (Sainte-Clotilde-de-Horton, QC) – Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue RFC
11. Paige Farries (Red Deer, AB) – Worcester Warriors
12. Sara Kaljuvee (Ajax, ON) – Toronto Scottish
13. Alysha Corrigan (Charlottetown, PEI) – CRFC / Saracens
14. Maddy Grant (Cornwall, ON) – University of Ottawa
15. Elissa Alarie (Trois-Rivieres, QC) – Westshore RFC


16. Gillian Boag (Calgary, AB) – Capilano RFC
17. Brittany Kassil (Guelph, ON) – Guelph, ON
18. Alex Ellis (Ottawa, ON) – Barrhaven Scottish / Saracens
19. Emma Taylor (Scotsburn, NS) – HRFC
20. Tyson Beukeboom (Uxbridge, ON) – Cowichan RFC
21. Gabrielle Senft (Regina, SK) – Castaway Wanderers / Exeter Chiefs / Regina Rogues Rugby Club
22. Fabiola Forteza (Quebec City, QC) – Club de rugby de Québec
23. Anaïs Holly (Montreal, QC) – Town of Mont Royal RFC

Posted in National Women's XVs.