Canada’s Women’s Sevens Team opened the new HSBC SVNS season with a fourth place performance at the Emirates Dubai 7s.
Canada’s Women’s Sevens Team opened the new HSBC SVNS season with a fourth place performance at the Emirates Dubai 7s, beating Ireland in the quarter-finals and playing a tight match against New Zealand, the reigning world series champions, in the semis. Canada’s Men’s Sevens Team finished twelfth after losses to Great Britain and Spain.
Charity Williams opened scoring for Canada on day two against Ireland in the quarter-finals, converted by Chloe Daniels. The game was tied 7-7 at half-time however, with Ireland scoring in the final minute of the first half. Krissy Scurfield took back the lead for Canada, receiving a pass from rookie Carissa Norsten and powering through an Irish tackle to score, converted by Daniels. A yellow card to Scurfield in the final minutes gave Ireland an opportunity to tie the game, but they were unable to convert their try, giving Canada a 14-12 win and sending them to the semi-finals for the first time since Sydney 2020.
Williams was once again the first to score for Canada, converted by Daniels, in the semi-finals against New Zealand, tying the game after an early 7-0 deficit. New Zealand responded quickly however, and led 14-7 at half-time. An exciting second half saw Alysha Corrigan offload the ball to Florence Symonds for a try to close the gap. With a yellow card awarded to New Zealand, Norsten continued her impressive debut by scoring a crucial try, converted by Asia Hogan-Rochester, to give Canada a 19-14 lead. A try from Jorja Miller in the 13th minute gave New Zealand the 21-19 win, sending Canada to the third place play-off.
The third place play-off was a re-match against France, who Canada faced in their first pool play match. All the scoring in the first half came from France’s Yolaine Yengo, whose hat trick and two conversions gave France a 19-0 lead at half-time. Canada generated opportunities to go on the attack in the final minutes, with Olivia Apps getting her team on the board, but France took an eventual 26-5 win and the bronze medal.
“All in all, a really positive weekend. We set a target of getting into as many top fours as possible. Last year we suffered from an inconsistency throughout tournaments, and this tournament in Dubai showed how much effort has been going in,” said Jack Hanratty, Canada’s Women’s Sevens Team Head Coach. “I want to compliment the players who are at home working hard and who are here and obviously the unity between WXV players and the players that were at the Pan Am Games. This is a step in the right direction. We were second best to France on two occasions and that’s something that we’ll take a look and reflect on, because we don’t want the top four to be where we strive for. We want to keep building and try and get this program back onto podiums.”
Canada’s Men’s Sevens Team met Great Britain in the ninth place semi-finals. Down 7-0 early, Canada took advantage of a yellow card to Great Britain, with Phil Berna snatching up a loose ball to score. Berna was involved in Canada’s next try as well, sending a wide offload to try scorer Kal Sager. Cooper Coats converted both tries to give Canada a 14-7 lead at half-time. Great Britain tied the game to open the second half, and despite defensive efforts and offensives pushes from Canada, Great Britain scored once more as time wound down to win 21-14, sending Canada to the 11th place play-off.
Scoring in the first half went back-and-forth as Canada took on Spain in their final match of the tournament. Jack Carson scored in the third minute, followed by a try from Spain moments later. Sager then scored his second of the day, but Spain once again tied the game before half-time. Both Canadian tries were converted by Coats. Canada was unable to score in the second half, with Spain collecting the only try in the tenth minute to win 19-14.
“We certainly got off to a start we were happy with versus New Zealand, and we were looking to build off that as the week progressed," said Sean White, Head Coach of Canada's Men's Sevens Team. "We were unable to put points on the board in big moments and going into next week that will be our focus. We know what we’re capable of and when we trust each other and pull in the same direction good things happen.”
Canada’s sevens teams now travel to South Africa for HSBC SVNS Cape Town (December 9-10, 2023). The first tournament of the new year will take place in Perth over January 26-28, 2024. Catch both teams in action on home soil at HSBC SVNS Vancouver (February 23-25, 2024) at BC Place. Buy tickets now at vansevens.com.
For the most up to date information on the HSBC SVNS Series and live coverage, including details on the event format, the schedule and the latest news, visit the official website: svns.com.