Canadian women’s sevens dominate day in Langford

Canadian women’s sevens dominate day in Langford

Canada takes on England tomorrow morning in the quarterfinals

The Canadian women’s sevens rugby team powered their way to a convincing a 3-0 start in front of a raucous crowd at Westhills Stadium in Langford.

The bronze medalists from last year’s Olympic Games in Rio rolled over Brazil 33-5 in their first game, 33-0 over France in their second, and 24-10 over Russia to conclude Saturday’s games at the HSBC Canada tournament. The knockout rounds begin Sunday with a match against England at 10:30 a.m. tomorrow (Sunday). Heading into the knockout rounds, Canadian veteran Ashley Steacy said they are not focusing on England specifically, but on themselves.

“Everything we have been focusing on leading into this tournament is how we are going to play, not who we play,” the 13-year rugby veteran said. “The mindset going into tomorrow is absolutely focusing on our process and our roles and not getting ahead of ourselves, not thinking about the next game.”

Team Canada has scored a total of 90 points for and have 15 points scored against them so far in the tournament, which will also be the last one on home soil for Steacy. She announced she will retire after the 2017 season and play competitively in front of Canadian fans for the last time on Sunday.

“Myself, knowing this is my last tournament on home soil, just heightens everything. My emotions, I have to keep them in check because it is a very special for me,” she continued. “But like I said, I want to play that role for the team and I don’t want to think I have to do something extra special.

Against France, Head coach John Tait said the team’s success came down to its depth.

“We were able to get fresh legs on at half,” he said. “If you can maintain that intensity and the pressure on them it generally turns into points and we did a good job of that.”

Bianca Farella played a starring role for the home side, notching two tries in the opening half, including a long run after a perfect chip from Ghislaine Landry to open the scoring.

“A lot of how we’ve grown is game management and tactics,” Farella said of her first try. “We’ve noticed that France likes to keep seven across…so we’ve capitalized on that. They were in their end and no one was back there.”

Earlier Canada romped over Brazil, taking a three try lead at halftime before cruising to a 33-5 win.

Toronto’s Charity Williams gave the game its exclamation point with a long second half run.

“It’s a great feeling especially at home with the crowd out here,” Williams said, adding that there was a bit of nervous energy from the team prior to stepping on the pitch. “You’ve got the first game and there’s (a few) hiccups but we got the result we wanted so we’re just going to keep building.”

Peterborough, Ont. native Hannah Darling gave the Canadians a 19-0 lead late in the first half with a try of her own and sported a small cut on her forehead as she spoke to reporters after the game.

“I don’t know what happened I was just sort of told that it was there. That’s rugby I guess.”

As for the game, Canada’s first on home soil since their bronze medal triumph, “It was great. There’s so much energy just around our team and externally so we’re just kind of bringing that energy out,” she said.

Other quarterfinal matchups include Australia versus the United States, France versus Ireland and New Zealand versus Russia.

joel.tansey@goldstreamgazette.com

Twitter:@joelgazette

Rugby Canada

 

Ashley Steacy wipes tears from her eyes as she watches the screen celebrating her rugby career. Steacy announced her retirement after Team Canada won their third game of the World Rugby HSBC Womens Sevens Series over Russia in Langford 24-10 to go 3-0 on Day 1. (Arnold Lim / Black Press)

Ashley Steacy wipes tears from her eyes as she watches the screen celebrating her rugby career. Steacy announced her retirement after Team Canada won their third game of the World Rugby HSBC Womens Sevens Series over Russia in Langford 24-10 to go 3-0 on Day 1. (Arnold Lim / Black Press)

Charity Williams it tackled by a Russian defender. Team Canada won their third game of the World Rugby HSBC Womens Sevens Series over Russia in Langford 24-10 to go 3-0 on Day 1. (Arnold Lim / Black Press)

Charity Williams it tackled by a Russian defender. Team Canada won their third game of the World Rugby HSBC Womens Sevens Series over Russia in Langford 24-10 to go 3-0 on Day 1. (Arnold Lim / Black Press)

Bianca Farella powers past a defender en route to a try. Team Canada won their third game of the World Rugby HSBC Womens Sevens Series over Russia in Langford 24-10 to go 3-0 on Day 1. (Arnold Lim / Black Press)

Bianca Farella powers past a defender en route to a try. Team Canada won their third game of the World Rugby HSBC Womens Sevens Series over Russia in Langford 24-10 to go 3-0 on Day 1. (Arnold Lim / Black Press)

Jen Kish (L) and Ghislaine Landry show emotion as Ashley Steacy announces her retirement following their win. Team Canada won their third game of the World Rugby HSBC Womens Sevens Series over Russia in Langford 24-10 to go 3-0 on Day 1. (Arnold Lim / Black Press)

Jen Kish (L) and Ghislaine Landry show emotion as Ashley Steacy announces her retirement following their win. Team Canada won their third game of the World Rugby HSBC Womens Sevens Series over Russia in Langford 24-10 to go 3-0 on Day 1. (Arnold Lim / Black Press)

Hannah Darling battles through a tackle as Team Canada won their second game of the World Rugby HSBC Womens Sevens Series in Langford 31-0. (Arnold Lim / Black Press)

Hannah Darling battles through a tackle as Team Canada won their second game of the World Rugby HSBC Womens Sevens Series in Langford 31-0. (Arnold Lim / Black Press)

Team Canada’s Bianca Ferella streaks by a Brazilian defender in their first game of the World Rugby HSBC Womens Sevens Series in Langford 33-5. (Arnold Lim/Black Press)                                Team Canada’s Bianca Ferella streaks by a Brazilian defender in their first game of the World Rugby HSBC Womens Sevens Series in Langford 33-5. (Arnold Lim / Black Press)

Team Canada’s Bianca Ferella streaks by a Brazilian defender in their first game of the World Rugby HSBC Womens Sevens Series in Langford 33-5. (Arnold Lim/Black Press) Team Canada’s Bianca Ferella streaks by a Brazilian defender in their first game of the World Rugby HSBC Womens Sevens Series in Langford 33-5. (Arnold Lim / Black Press)

Fans cheer on before Team Canada won their second game of the World Rugby HSBC Womens Sevens Series in Langford 31-0. (Arnold Lim / Black Press)

Fans cheer on before Team Canada won their second game of the World Rugby HSBC Womens Sevens Series in Langford 31-0. (Arnold Lim / Black Press)