Women's RWC 2017

August 13 2017


Kelly Russell - Canada vs Hong Kong at RWC 2017
© Rugby Canada

Canada Defeat Wales with Two Try Performance: Lack of Bonus Point Could be Costly


It was not the performance that Canada needed to make the final four. A bonus point win was needed and Canada were not clinical enough to get four tries against a plucky Wales defence. The USA sit at 10 points in Pool B while Canada sit at 9 points in Pool A. The USA play England and Canada play New Zealand. Based on current form and rankings both England and NZ will be favourites to win those matches then it comes down to bonus points. Canada now have to beat NZ in order to advance to the the final four, or they need a bonus point loss (or 2) and hope the USA don't get a bonus point.

Canada had a nervous first half, handling errors were through the roof. The things we said were weaknesses of the side were also seen by Wales. They targeted the breakdown where they got the better of Canada. Also the creativity and execution in the backline was lacking, Magali Harvey the iconic winger, hardly touched the ball. Canada's scrum can be credited with their one and only try of the first half, they pushed Wales off their ball and the scrum-half, Lori Josephson, scored a solo try. Josephson had a good half which made it more difficult to understand the coaches decision to change the #9 for the second half.

The second half didn't get better, Wales never made it inside the Canada 22, the Canada defence was strong but the finishing and handling let them down. Zussman didn't help the cause with an act of frustration and was given a yellow for stomping when Canada had the ball inches from the line. The Irish referee had let Wales push the boundary at the ruck all day, allowing tacklers to linger on the wrong side of the breakdown and prevent quick ball for Canada. He finally gave Wales a warning and a yellow but it was too late in the match, it should have happened in the first half to influence the pace of the game. At the 80 minute mark Magali Harvey finally got a ball in some space on the outside and exploded into the goal area for Canada's second and last try.

Canada face New Zealand on Thursday.

You can watch the full match video on our Facebook page.

from Rugby Canada

DUBLIN, IRELAND – Canada stayed perfect through their first two matches of the 2017 Women’s Rugby World Cup (WRWC) as the Canadians knocked off Wales 15-0 Sunday at Billings Park.

Lori Josephson scored a first-half try and Magali Harvey added 10 points in the second half, including both a try and penalty, to give Canada a critical victory that sets up a battle of unbeatens with New Zealand (7am ET/4am PT) on Thursday in the final match of pool play.

Despite a strong showing from the Welsh side, the Canadians were the better team, especially in the second half and were full value for the win.

After taking a 7-0 lead into halftime, the Canadians had all the pressure in the second half, but a staunch Welsh defence kept the game close.

After several knocks on the door, the Canadians finally added to their lead in the 69th minute when Harvey slotted a penalty to provide a little insurance. Just before the fulltime whistle, Harvey crossed the line herself, tallying her sixth try of the tournament.

Captain Kelly Russell, who earned her 50th cap with Canada, was named the Guinness Woman of the Match.

“I think in our first game we got the offence right and in this game we got the defence right, but the next one we’ll put it all together,” Russell said. “Wales put a lot of pressure on us, but (the knock-ons) are pure discipline on our part and it’s something we have to clean up. I’m very happy with the discipline on defence we had. It’s definitely something to build off of.”

Josephson tallied Canada’s opening try in the 25th minute when she took advantage of a hard-charging run from Russell, picking the ball from the back of the ruck and slicing through the Welsh defence from 10 metres out. The try was Josephson’s first ever at the World Cup.

With a converted try secured, Canada had a chance to extend their lead soon after and were on the edge of the Welsh try line, but Wales held the Canadians up just a few metres out. A late Wales push was unfruitful and the teams went into halftime with Canada up by seven.

The second half story was all about Canada’s driving forward and Wales desperate defence. Three times within the first 15 minutes of the second half, Canada came within inches of the Welsh line, only to be denied on the stoop.

The win was Canada’s first ever World Cup victory over Wales. This was be the third time Canada and Wales have met in the WRWC. The two sides previously met in 1991, when they played to a 9-9 draw, and in 1994, when Wales edged Canada 11-5. Both games were also in pool play.

Canada will now prepare for a New Zealand side that is coming of a 121-0 win over Hong Kong.

Canada faced the Kiwis earlier this year in the opener of the International Women’s Rugby Series, losing 28-16 in New Zealand.

Match Report:
The Welsh looked impressive early on, earning much of the possession and forcing the Canadians into a few early turnovers.

However, with 20 minutes in the books, the Canadians pushed back and were rewarded in the 25th minute when Lori Josephson tallied her first World Cup try.

With momentum swinging Canada’s way and they were soon knocking on the door again, but the Wales defence held the Canadians up with just a few metres to spare.

A late thrust forward from Wales was unsuccessful and the teams went into the break with Canada leading 7-0.

Canada came out in second half on the front foot, but once again Wales held them just inches shy of the try line on several occasions.

With the teams each down a player, with yellow cards shown to both sides, the Canadians went to the boot to extend their lead in the 69th minute. Magali Harvey converted to put Canada up 10-0 with just over 10 minutes to play.

Harvey rounded out the scoring when she took a pass 15 metres out and did the rest of the work, sprinting down the right wing and touching down.

Canada’s Roster to Face Wales (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. Elissa Alarie, Vice Captain, Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue RFC/Westshore RFC (Trois Rivieres, 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. Julianne Zussman, Castaway Wanderers (Montreal, 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. Barbara Mervin, Westshore RFC (Peterborough, ON)
21. Chelsea Guthrie, Stratchona Druids (Edmonton, AB)
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 15 Wales 0 – Billings Park
Canada vs. New Zealand – Aug 17 – 7am ET/4am PT – Billings Park

Canada Scoring:
Tries: Josephson (1), Harvey (1)
Conversions: Harvey (1)
Penalties: Harvey (1)

Scoring Summary:
First Half
Try – Lori Josephson – 24’
Conversion – Magali Harvey – 25’
Second Half
Penalty – Magali Harvey – 69’
Try – Magali Harvey – 80’


Canada Announce Team for Wales Clash - One Change from Hong Kong Match: Kickoff 9am PT Sunday


Canada will have to come out and play their top game on Sunday. Even though NZ made short work of Wales 44-12, the danger of looking past this match and focusing on NZ is a potential pitfall. New Zealand lost to Ireland in a similar situation the last world cup which put them out of the top four.

Only one change, bringing in Julianne Zussman to fullback and moving Elissa Alarie to the wing to replace Frederique Rajotte. Alarie had a great game at fullback versus Hong Kong. Zussman has owned that position in the past but has been a bit muted in recent performances. If Wales decide to use a kicking game the counter attack from the back three will be crucial.

from Rugby Canada

DUBLIN, IRELAND (August 12, 2017) – After an impressive win over Hong Kong on the opening day of the 2017 Women’s Rugby World Cup (WRWC) in Ireland, Canadian Women’s Team head coach Francois Ratier is staying with nearly the same starting lineup, making only one change, for Canada’s contest against Wales Sunday.

With a 98-0 victory already in their back pocket, Ratier’s only alteration sees Julianne Zussman return to the starting unit at fullback, with Elissa Alarie moving to the wing, where she will replace Frederique Rajotte.

Zussman brings a wealth of experience to the field, as the Montreal product is the second-most capped player on the Canadian roster, trailing only captain Kelly Russell who’s set to hit her own milestone tomorrow by eclipsing the 50 cap mark. The veteran fullback is set to earn her 40th cap and enters the game second only to Magali Harvey amongst the team’s all-time leading try-scorers. Russell only trails Maria Gallo and Gillian Florence in caps.

With the aforementioned trio of Zussman, Harvey and Alarie, the Canadians back three will once again be a dangerous outfit – one that accounted for seven of Canada’s 16 tries against Hong Kong. Harvey had 41 points in the competition-opener, including five tries, and enters Sunday’s game atop the WRWC leaderboard for both points and tries.

In the Canadian pack, Francois will avoid any tinkering, with Carolyn McEwen, Laura Russell and DaLeaka Menin getting the call in the front row, while Kayla Mack and Latoya Blackwood return in the second row.

The back row will once again feature Jacey Grusnick, Karen Paquin and Russell.

After making her World Cup debut against Hong Kong, scrumhalf Lori Josephson will get the call again and will be joined by Emily Belchos at flyhalf. Veteran Andrea Burk and youngster Alex Tessier will once again control the centre positions.

Canada, who are third in the World Rugby rankings, will look to build on the momentum generated from an historic win over Hong Kong in which the Canadians set a program record for most points scored in a match in the WRWC.

This will be the third time Canada and Wales, who are currently 10th in the World Rugby rankings, have met in the WRWC. The two sides previously met in 1991, when they played to a 9-9 draw and in 1994, when Wales edged Canada 11-5. Both games were also in pool play.

Canada enters Sunday’s match tied with New Zealand atop Pool A, with both teams having collected the full five points in their first outings.

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

What Andrea Burk said:

“Against Hong Kong we played one through 15 as a team and, we talk about how we don’t have subs, we have starters and finishers, and everybody on the pitch wearing the Canadian jersey got the job done.

“Right now we’re packaging every game in a three-day cycle; now that Hong Kong is done we have three days to focus on Wales and that’s exactly what we’re focusing on. It worked in 2014 and it’s been a part of our process over the last few years and it’s exactly what we’re doing in Ireland.

“Wales will definitely provide a stronger opposition than Hong Kong; we’re expecting them to be a lot more fierce & harder in the breakdown, which Hong Kong exposed against us in the first game and we’re making ourselves accountable.

What Tyson Beukeboom said:

“I think the intensity we brought to the game against Hong Kong was a key part of what we wanted to do. In the past we’ve been known to start off slow in the opening 20 minutes and start on the back foot, so we corrected that against Hong Kong.

“Leading into the Wales game I think it was important for us to take care of a few technical items around the contact area and we’ve done that today at training. It’s in our heads now and we’re going to fix that for game two and be ready to face Wales on Sunday.”

Canada’s Roster to face Wales:

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. Elissa Alarie, Vice Captain, Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue RFC/Westshore RFC (Trois Rivieres, 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. Julianne Zussman, Castaway Wanderers (Montreal, 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. Barbara Mervin, Westshore RFC (Peterborough, ON)
21. Chelsea Guthrie, Stratchona Druids (Edmonton, AB)
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

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