The Canadian men’s and women’s teams experienced a roller-coaster ride on Saturday that left them out of the medal hunt at the HSBC Canada Sevens tournament despite posting some impressive wins.
The women used a 31-7 win over Brazil to reach the quarter-finals and then showed a determined effort in a 10-5 loss to New Zealand, one of the best teams in the world.
“It was a super stormy performance,” said Krissy Scurfield, a prop/wing from Canmore, Alta. “We put everything we had out there.
The men, hoping to build on an upset win over Australia on Friday night, defeated Chile 35-7 in their opening match on Saturday but failed to reach the medal round. They then lost 19–14 to Spain in the ninth place quarter-final.
“It’s not where we wanted to be,” said prostitute Alex Russell. “That’s the brutal nature of the sevens. You’re playing for the top eight and suddenly you’re in the bottom four.”
WATCHES | World Rugby Men’s Sevens Series Vancouver — Canada vs. Chile:
Keyara Wardley of Vulcan, Ata., scored Canada’s only try in the game against New Zealand. The game came in the second half when New Zealand were down a player due to a penalty.
The final score was a huge improvement on the 50-5 thrashing of New Zealand in Canada the last time the teams met in December at the sevens tournament in Cape Town, South Africa.
New Zealand have won three out of four tournaments this season. The Black Ferns have won their previous three games this weekend by a combined score of 127-14.
The women finished with a 1-2 record in Pool C, but advanced due to their point differential. The top two teams from the three women’s groups advance to the quarter-finals, along with the two best third-placed teams.
The USA finished first in Pool C with a 3-0 record with Ireland second at 2-1.
Head coach Jack Hanratty was pleased with the way his side played.
The women play Ireland in their first game on Sunday. The best they can finish is fifth, which would be their best result of the season.
In the men’s game against Spain, Victoria’s Jack Carson scored to give Canada an early lead, but the Spanish fought back with 19 straight points. Toronto’s Josiah Morra closed the gap with a late try.
Lachlan Kratz of Victoria and Thomas Isherwood of Okotoks, Alta., kicked the converts.
WATCHES | World Rugby Men’s Sevens Series Vancouver — Canada vs. Spain:
The Canadian men entered the tournament ranked 14th in the World Rugby Sevens Series and are fighting to avoid relegation.
The World Series is reducing the number of men’s primary teams for the 2024 season from 16 to 12, to equal the number of women’s teams and align with the Olympic structure.
The men needed to reach the quarter-finals of the next four tournaments – while managing wins when playing the teams ahead of them – to earn enough points to move up to 11th or better and avoid playing in a relegation play-off.
After being beaten 35-5 by Ireland in their opening match, the men bounced back to topple Australia 27-12, setting up the crucial game against Chile.
Vancouver’s Morra and Matthew Percillier each scored two tries in the win. Jake Thiel of Abbotsford, BC, had a try, while Kratz kicked four conversions and Isherwood kicked one.
Ireland, Australia and Canada all had 2-1 records in Pool D. Only the top two teams qualified and Canada missed the cut on point difference.
Canada’s fate was sealed when Australia defeated Ireland 21-7 in the men’s final.
Chloe Daniels of Sutton, Ont., Bianca Farella of Montreal, Fancy Bermudez of Edmonton and Piper Logan of Calgary all scored tries in the women’s win over Brazil. Co-captain Oliva Apps added a try and kicked three conversions.
WATCHES | Women’s World Rugby Sevens Series Vancouver — Canada vs. Brazil:
Farella is playing in her 44th tournament in sevens, tying her with Australia’s Sharni Williams for the most on the all-time list.
Bermudez said the team spent the night regrouping after losing 17-12 to the USA and 28-7 to Ireland during Friday’s opening day of games.
“We picked ourselves up, watched film and got back into it today,” he said. “We came in with a different intensity.”
The booths at BC Place were filled with colorful and some very imaginative costumes. There were jellyfish with twinkling lights and pirates. A large flock of white sheep sat near a group of chefs. There were workers in hard hats, people in fancy hats, cowboy hats, and brimmed hats.
People danced to the music, chanted and waved flags from the various nations while playing.
The tournament was expanded to include 12 women’s teams competing at the same time as the men.
The Canadians have 16 points and are in 10th place after four stops on their tour.
The top four men’s and women’s teams at the end of the season will automatically qualify for the 2024 Olympics in Paris.