Canada's women book place at RWC Sevens

(IRB.COM) Monday 27 August 2012  
 Canada's women book place at RWC Sevens
Canada were too strong for their NACRA rivals and did not concede a point all weekend - Photo: Judy Teasdale

Canada’s women blitzed all before them to win the North American Caribbean Rugby Association (NACRA) Sevens title on home soil and join neighbours USA at Rugby World Cup Sevens 2013.

The overwhelming favourites to secure the one place on offer at the NACRA regional qualifier, Canada did so by scoring 320 points and not conceding a single point in six matches at Twin Elm Rugby Park in Ottawa.

Canada picked up where they had left off on day one to add the scalp of Trinidad & Tobago to those of Mexico (62-0), Cayman Islands (50) and Jamaica 45-0 and qualify for the semi finals as top seeds.

Julia Greenshields and Bianca Farella both scored twice in the 39-0 win over Trinidad & Tobago which got day two of the NACRA Sevens underway on Sunday.

Next up for Canada was a rematch with Mexico, who had finished fourth in the five-team round robin. The margin was not as great this time, Ottawa local Julianne Zussman scoring two of Canada’s eight tries in a 42-0 victory.

In the other semi final, Trinidad & Tobago avenged a 19-7 loss in the round robin stages by beating Jamaica 22-5 with Kwanieze John scoring her side’s first two tries. Nicolette Panter and Jenliee Limada although touched down to confirm Trinidad & Tobago as Caribbean champions.

Mission accomplished

Trinidad & Tobago, though, were no match for the free-scoring Canadians in the final with captain Jen Kish grabbing a hat-trick to ensure her side realised their target of RWC Sevens 2013 qualification.

Zussman, Arielle Dubisette-Borrice, Magalie Harvery, Farella and Kaya Moleschi also got their names on the scoresheet in the final despite the plucky efforts of their opponents.

"The big one is that we are going to the World Cup, now we can prepare our players over the next months so they are successful next June in Moscow," said Canada coach John Tait. 

"For me, one of the great things we got out of this tournament, other than winning and qualifying, was that we got to debut five new caps and they stepped onto the team pretty seamlessly, I thought they did very well."

Kish added: "We're going to a World Cup, we fought our way into it. It was a great victory and the girls learned a lot and I learned a lot about being a leader. Overall, it was just a great tournament for us."

Canada’s qualification for RWC Sevens 2013 now means that 11 of the 16 places in the women’s event have been filled, five by automatic qualifiers (Australia, New Zealand, USA, South Africa and hosts Russia) and five from the European qualifier (England, Spain, France, Netherlands and Ireland).

The remaining places will be filled through the Africa qualifier in Morocco on 29-30 September (one place), the Asia qualifier in India on 6-7 October (three places) and the South America qualifier in Brazil (one place) on 23-24 February 2013.

Day one results:
Canada 62-0 Mexico
Jamaica 17-0 Cayman Islands
Canada 50-0 Cayman Islands
Jamaica 19-7 Trindad & Tobago
Canada 45-0 Jamaica
Trinidad & Tobago 25-12 Mexico

Day two fixtures:
09:20 - Canada 39-0 Trinidad & Tobago
09:40 - Mexico 34-0 Cayman Islands
11:50 - Jamaica 24-0 Mexico
12:10 - Cayman Islands 0-36 Trinidad & Tobago
14:40 - Semi final - Jamaica 5-22 Trindad & Tobago 
15:00 - Semi final - Canada 42-0 Mexico
16:20 - Final - Trindad & Tobago 0-46 Canada

The NACRA Sevens men's event ran alongside the women's and there was double delight for Canada with their men's team beating neighbours USA 26-19 in the final. Both sides have qualified for RWC Sevens 2013 in Moscow.