Women's RWC 2017

August 09 2017


Carolyn McEwen - Canada prop
© Rugby Canada

Canada Dominate Hong Kong 98-0 in Opening Match: Next Up Wales on Sunday


The result wasn't really in question but the margin was and it was a good result for Canada where point differential may determine making the final four.

The Rugby Canada match report is appended below.

Kelly Russell had an outstanding game and leads by example. DaLeaka Menin was in running for Player of the Match before she was subbed off but her open field running for a tighthead exceeded expectations. Magali Harvey, of course, scoring five tries was a lethal finisher.

The offload game was good for Canada, the scrum was dominant and the defence held Hong Kong off the board. All positives that can be taken forward.

However, when contemplating playing higher ranked teams, especially England and New Zealand there's some things that need to be cleaned up. Canada lost far too many balls at the ruck, it was an issue on the NZ tour and still an issue. Their scrum half stole two balls early on in the match, the first person arriving, even if it's a back, has to be more effective in the clean out. Canada had a few penalties called for not supporting their weight at the breakdown or staying with hands in the ruck after the ref called for release. Those turnovers have to be eliminated against higher ranked teams.

Two glaring errors from the #10, failing to find touch on a penalty which should have led to a 5 metre lineout and a try. An attempted kick through the line that hit a defender and bounced into Canada's backline giving Hong Kong their best scoring opportunity. Against NZ or England those plays could mean a 14 point gap, the 7 not scored and the 7 gifted to the opposition.

Canada get to perfect their game against Wales, if they can continue their hard running in the forwards, a stingy defence, a flowing offload game and improve their breakdown work and cut down the errors - they should be well prepared for New Zealand the following week.



from Rugby Canada

DUBLIN, IRELAND – Canada opened its 2017 Women’s Rugby World Cup (WRWC) in emphatic fashion, earning a record 98-0 win over Hong Kong Wednesday at Billings Park. The one-sided matchup saw Canada post an all-time Canadian mark for points in a WRWC game.

The contest was a mismatch from the outset as the veteran Canadian side scored 16 tries against a Hong Kong outfit that was playing in their first ever Women’s Rugby World Cup.

Within five minutes of the opening kickoff, Canada’s Andrea Burk sparked the offensive foray and the 2014 WRWC silver medallists were off and running. By the end of it all, Canada’s Magali Harvey put up five tries, while captain Kelly Russell had a hat trick, Elissa Alarie, Amanda Thornborough and Burk tallied two tries apiece and Alex Tessier and Brittany Waters each crossed the line once.

Harvey, who scored 41 total points and was named the Player of the Match, added eight conversions. Second half replacement Brianna Miller also slotted a conversion.

Harvey’s point total put over past 200 points all-time with Canada as she now has 234. Burk’s 10 points put her beyond 150 all-time with Canada. She now has 152. Both Russell and Alarie surpassed 50 points with Canada, as both are now on 55 points all-time.

“I’m really proud of the team and the effort they put in,” Russell said. “There are some things to fix going forward, but we’ll get there.”

After building a 46-point halftime lead, the Francois Ratier-coached Canadians, who are ranked third in the World Rugby rankings, rolled out the bench over the course of the second half but still put up another 52 points.

“It’s important to get all of our girls out on the pitch because we want these girls to come up and bring up the pace when they step on and that’s exactly what they did,” Russell said. “Across the board anyone of those girls can be in that starting lineup. It’s just starters and finishers.”

Wednesday’s meeting with Hong Kong, who are ranked 23rd in the world, was the first international test match between the two nations.

“Credit to Hong Kong,” Russell said. “They were really good in the rucks. They gave it to us a couple times and that’s something we’re going to have to clean up going forward.”

Canada will now prepare to face Wales Sunday, before taking on No. 1-ranked and four-time World Cup champion New Zealand Aug. 17 in their final match of pool play.

With their debut, Hong Kong became the 19th nation to compete in the WRWC. Canada is one of only four nations to have participated in all seven editions of the WRWC.

Match Report:

Andrea Burk opened the scoring inside the first five minutes, capitalizing on a powerful surge up the middle of the park from captain Kelly Russell before eventually receiving an offload and touching down for Canada’s first try of their World Cup campaign.

Elissa Alarie tallied Canada’s second try of the afternoon with a solo effort, slicing through the Hong Kong defence, dummying and fending her way across the line.

The early Canadian offensive onslaught continued when Magali Harvey took a short pass from Karen Paquin and ran in her first of the day. Converting her own try, Harvey put Canada up 19-0 before the match was 15 minutes old.

Shortly thereafter, a strong run from Frederique Rajotte put the Canadians on the Hong Kong doorstep and Russell did the rest, lunging over the line for Canada’s fourth try.

Just beyond the 25-minute mark, Harvey continued to force the issue, putting up her second try, stepping through the defence and touching down.

Six minutes later, Russell put her second try on the board after Canada pushed a five-metre scrum across the line.

A driving run from DaLeaka Menin setup Canada’s seventh try of the first half, with Burk eventually finishing a couple minutes before the break. Harvey completed the ha -trick at the halftime whistle, putting Canada ahead 46-0.

Less than a minute into the second half, Alarie sent Canada past the half-century mark, scoring her second on a long, weaving run. Just a few minutes later, replacement Amanda Thronborough continued to pour in the tries for Canada, putting down her first try of the tournament. Tessier was next, intercepting a Hong Kong pass and running half the field for the try.

Two more tries from Harvey sandwiched around a Brittany Waters score put Canada had 79-0.

Hong Kong earned a few spots of possession late in the contest, once driving the ball within five metres of the Canadian line, but that was as close as they would come.

Russell completed her hat trick with a late try, before Thornborough and Harvey each crossed again to finalize the scoreline.

Canada’s Roster to Face Hong Kong (name, club, hometown):
1. Carolyn McEwen, Burnaby Lake RFC (Vancouver, BC)
2. Laura Russell, Toronto Nomads/Cowichan RFC (Bolton, ON)
3. DaLeaka Menin, Calgary Hornets (Vulcan, AB)
4. Kayla Mack, Saskatoon Wild Oats (Saskatoon, SK)
5. Latoya Blackwood, Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue RFC/Westshore RFC (Montreal, QC)
6. Jacey Grusnick, Barrhaven Scottish (Alliston, ON)
7. Karen Paquin, Club de Rugby de Quebec/Castaway Wanderers (Quebec City, QC)
8. Kelly Russell, Captain, Toronto Nomads/Cowichan RFC (Bolton, ON)
9. Lori Josephson, Aurora Barbarians (Beaverton, ON)
10. Emily Belchos, Westshore RFC (Innisfil, ON)
11. Frederique Rajotte, Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue RFC (Montreal, QC)
12. Andrea Burk, Capilano RFC (North Vancouver, BC)
13. Alex Tessier, Montreal Barbarians (Sainte-Clotilde-de-Horton, QC)
14. Magali Harvey, Club de Rugby de Quebec (Quebec City, QC)
15. Elissa Alarie, Vice Captain, Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue RFC/Westshore RFC (Trois Rivieres, QC)
16. Jane Kirby, Highland Fergus Rugby Club (Brampton, ON)
17. Brittany Kassil, Guelph Redcoats (Guelph, ON)
18. Olivia DeMerchant, Woodstock Wildmen/Castaway Wanderers (Mapledale, NB)
19. Tyson Beukeboom, Aurora Barbarians/Cowichan RFC (Uxbridge, ON)
20. Cindy Nelles, Belleville Bulldogs (Belleville, ON)
21. Brianna Miller, Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue RFC/Westshore RFC (Pointe-Claire, QC)
22. Amanda Thornborough, Westshore RFC (Brandon, MB)
23. Brittany Waters, Meraloma Athletic Club/Castaway Wanderers (Vancouver, BC)

2017 WRWC Staff:
Francois Ratier- Head Coach
Shaun Allen- Assistant Coach
Gary Dukelow – Assistant Coach
Colette McAuley- Technical Support
Nicole Crowley- Manager
Shannon Houston – Team Doctor
Brad Curry – Physiotherapist
Jamie McCartney – Strength & Conditioning
Nicole Ainsworth- Athletic Therapist
James Kent- Analyst
Bryan Kelly – Media Manager
Meaghan Howat – Director

Canada’s 2017 Women’s Rugby World Cup Schedule:
Canada 98 Hong Kong 0 – Billings Park
Canada vs. Wales – Aug 13 – 12pm ET/9am PT – Billings Park
Canada vs. New Zealand – Aug 17 – 7am ET/4am PT – Billings Park

Canada Scoring:

Tries: Harvey (5), Kelly Russell (3), Burk (2), Alarie (2), Thornborough (2), Tessier (1), Waters (1)
Conversion: Harvey (8), Miller (1)



Canada Start World Cup vs Hong Kong on Wednesday 9am PT


Canada starts its World Cup campaign off tomorrow against rugby minnows Hong Kong. The result shouldn't be in doubt but Canada will need to be ruthless on the scoreboard.

Only the top four teams advance to the final round with a chance to claim the trophy and title of World Champions for the next four years. There are only three pools and Canada are in a pool with New Zealand, a team they have not yet defeated. So it's prudent to have a Plan B which is the best 2nd place team. That will be determined by points and then point differential in case of a tie. Canada need bonus point wins by large margins against Hong Kong and Wales and then hope to defeat NZ or at least lose with a bonus point.

It looks like Ratier is putting out his "A" side against Hong Kong and it will be a full, pedal to the medal, start for Canada.

from Rugby Canada

DUBLIN, IRELAND (August 8, 2017) - Canada’s Women’s Team head coach Francois Ratier has announced his starting roster for Wednesday’s test match against Hong Kong to open the 2017 Women’s Rugby World Cup (WRWC) in Ireland.

Leading the charge from the number 8 position is Captain Kelly Russell of Bolton, Ontario, who’s winning her 49th test match for Canada. In the front row, Canada will be bolstered by Carolyn McEwen, Laura Russell and DaLeaka Menin, with Kayla Mack and Latoya Blackwood in the second row.

Canada’s backrow remains consistent with Russell flanked by Jacey Grusnick and Karen Paquin.

Scrumhalf Lori Josephson makes her World Cup debut starting alongside 2014 WRWC stalwart Emily Belchos at flyhalf. In the centres, Canada boasts a consistent blend of experience and youth, as 33 cap veteran Andrea Burk slots in beside WRWC rookie Alex Tessier.

An all-French Canadian back three is lead by Elissa Alarie at fullback, with Magali Harvey and Frederique Rajotte on the wings. Ranked 3rd in World Rugby rankings, Ratier’s side enters the competition with high hopes and plans to use the Hong Kong test to start their campaign off positively.

Wednesday’s clash with Canada marks the first-ever game for Hong Kong, ranked 23rd in the world, at the World Cup. Canada and Hong Kong have never met in international test rugby.

Kick off is set for 12pm ET/9am PT on Wednesday and you can watch live on TSN/RDS.

What flyhalf Emily Belchos said:

“We arrived in Ireland two weeks ago and had our pre-tournament camp outside of the city at Johnstown Estate and it’s been going well. Our team is really connected and we’re excited to get our campaign underway on Wednesday.

“We have a large group of returning players from the last World Cup in 2014 so it’s a confident environment because a lot of us have been here before. We don’t know very much about Hong Kong, so we’re just trying to focus on our performance and, if we play our game we should be successful on Wednesday,”

What winger Frederique Rajotte said:

“We want to set the pace for our World Cup starting on Wednesday against Hong Kong; we’ve been training hard over the last two weeks in Ireland we’re all excited to get underway.

“For me to be here representing my country at the World Cup in Ireland it’s a dream come true. If you asked me two years ago I wouldn’t have thought I’d be here, so I’m looking forward to the opportunity!”

Canada’s Roster to face Hong Kong:

1. Carolyn McEwen, Burnaby Lake RFC (Vancouver, BC)
2. Laura Russell, Toronto Nomads/Cowichan RFC (Bolton, ON)
3. DaLeaka Menin, Calgary Hornets (Vulcan, AB)
4. Kayla Mack, Saskatoon Wild Oats (Saskatoon, SK)
5. Latoya Blackwood, Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue RFC/Westshore RFC (Montreal, QC)
6. Jacey Grusnick, Barrhaven Scottish (Alliston, ON)
7. Karen Paquin, Club de Rugby de Quebec/Castaway Wanderers (Quebec City, QC)
8. Kelly Russell, Captain, Toronto Nomads/Cowichan RFC (Bolton, ON)
9. Lori Josephson, Aurora Barbarians (Beaverton, ON)
10. Emily Belchos, Westshore RFC (Innisfil, ON)
11. Frederique Rajotte, Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue RFC (Montreal, QC)
12. Andrea Burk, Capilano RFC (North Vancouver, BC)
13. Alex Tessier, Montreal Barbarians (Sainte-Clotilde-de-Horton, QC)
14. Magali Harvey, Club de Rugby de Quebec (Quebec City, QC)
15. Elissa Alarie, Vice Captain, Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue RFC/Westshore RFC (Trois Rivieres, QC)
16. Jane Kirby, Highland Fergus Rugby Club (Brampton, ON)
17. Brittany Kassil, Guelph Redcoats (Guelph, ON)
18. Olivia DeMerchant, Woodstock Wildmen/Castaway Wanderers (Mapledale, NB)
19. Tyson Beukeboom, Aurora Barbarians/Cowichan RFC (Uxbridge, ON)
20. Cindy Nelles, Belleville Bulldogs (Belleville, ON)
21. Brianna Miller, Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue RFC/Westshore RFC (Pointe-Claire, QC)
22. Amanda Thornborough, Westshore RFC (Brandon, MB)
23. Brittany Waters, Meraloma Athletic Club/Castaway Wanderers (Vancouver, BC)

2017 WRWC Staff:

Francois Ratier- Head Coach
Shaun Allen- Assistant Coach
Gary Dukelow – Assistant Coach
Colette McAuley- Technical Support
Nicole Crowley- Manager
Shannon Houston – Team Doctor
Brad Curry – Physiotherapist
Jamie McCartney – Strength & Conditioning
Nicole Ainsworth- Athletic Therapist
James Kent- Analyst
Bryan Kelly – Media Manager
Meaghan Howat – Director

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