Canada Fails to Make Cup Round for First Time in World 7s Series - Lose to Ireland in Challenge Semis, Finish in 11th
What is happening with the Canadian women's program? For the first time in the World 7s Series history they've failed to make the top 8 and go into the Challenge round.
They did lose their captain Ghislaine Landry due to injury before the tournament kicked off and it's obvious this was a factor. Jen Kish didn't make the tour either. Without those two players they went from 3rd ranked in the world to 9th or 10th. They came 4th in the Commonwealth Games but that didn't include teams that finished ahead of them this tournament, Russia, Spain, China, France.
Canada vs. Fiji:
An impressive all-round performance by Canada's Women, as they outplayed an ill-disciplined Fiji to claim a 24 point win in their opening match. Full-time, Canada 38-14 Fiji.
Canda vs. England:
Canada lead 19-14 with seconds remaining, but a late try and a clutch conversion from the corner gave England a hard-fought victory in Kitakyushu. Full-time, Canada 19-21 England.
Canada vs. Russia:
A tight encounter between two evenly matched sides. The bounce of the ball didn't go Canada's way on the day and Russia walked away with the win. Full-time, Canada 5-19 Russia.
Canada vs. Ireland:
A tough one to swallow for Canada, as Ireland came from behind to steal the win with a sudden-death try in extra-time. Full-time, Canada 19-24 Ireland.
Canada vs. Japan:
Canada claimed a convincing win against the hosts, Japan in the 11th place playoff. Full-time, Canada 33-14 Japan.
Watching the team there are gaps on the field. They've gone away from the smothering and aggressive defensive team they used to be. Players are rushing up on defence with good line speed but then back off before making contact. There are weak links now, players who get beaten easy on defence, players who are reluctant to take the gap with ball in hand, players who can't defend or contest a ruck. A team's strength can be measured by the weakest link of the field.
Then there's the off field fiasco at Rugby Canada where all attention is focused on the men's XVs team, including the registration tax which is causing an uproar. Is this having any effect? Even the women's player rep on the board is busy defending the tax for the men's XVs team. Does this chaos work it's way into the minds of the players and coaches? It shouldn't in a perfect world but this isn't a perfect world.
Canada are at home next for the Canada Sevens in Langford. It will mean Canada will go in seeded as one of the lower teams and that could result in a tough pool selection. The first order of business after winning the Challenge round in Japan and finishing 9th will be to get back into the Cup round in Langford.
Final result at Kitakyushu