MARCOUSSIS, FRANCE – Led by Magali Harvey’s 26 points, Canada opened the 2014 Women’s Rugby World Cup with a 31-7 win over Spain.
Although there is room for improvement, it was an encouraging start to the tournament for head coach Francois Ratier’s side as they led 24-0 at half.
While Canada was on the back foot for much of the opening quarter, their ability to hold the Spanish side from scoring proved to be the most important aspect of the opening 40 minutes.
Once settled, Canada became more aggressive in their attack.
With the Spanish defensive line creeping up in the 18th minute, Andrea Burk placed a perfect chip through to open space where a speeding Harvey met it at pace, eventually diving in the corner to score Canada’s first try of the tournament. Standing on the touchline, Harvey’s successful conversion was equally impressive.
Moments later, Harvey stole the ball in contact and went 60 metres the other way, outpacing the Spanish defenders to touch down with her second try in five minutes.
After Harvey added a penalty kick, she impressed once again. Tapping the ball forward past a Spanish player with her foot, Harvey side-stepped, picked up the ball and sprinted over the try-line to cap off a first half hat-trick.
Her third successful conversion gave her 24 points in the half and Canada a 24-0 lead at the break.
With Canada dictating the pace of play early in the second half, they were awarded a penalty inside the Spanish 22-metre line. A smart decision by Captain Kelly Russell to take the quick tap resulted in Mandy Marchak scoring her first try of the tournament, giving Canada a 31-point lead.
However, after Olivia DeMerchant was shown a yellow card in the 60th minute, Canada were down to 14 players and momentum began to change back to the Spanish side.
Just as they did in the opening 20 minutes, Spain controlled much of the possession in the final quarter of play, eventually finding a breakthrough in the closing minutes to score their first try of the match.
Canada will now travel to Paris where they will face Samoa next Tuesday in their second match of Group A.
Canada’s Women’s Rugby World Cup Roster vs Spain:
1. Laura Russell, (Toronto Nomads) Bolton, ON
2. Kim Donaldson, (Burnaby Lake Rugby Club) Toronto, ON
3. Hilary Leith, (Capilano RFC) Vancouver, BC
4. Maria Samson, (Calgary Hornets) Calgary, AB
5. Latoya Blackwood, (St. Anne de Bellevue) Montreal, QC
6. Barbara Mervin, (Velox RFC) Peterborough, ON
7. Karen Paquin, (Club de Rugby Quebec) Quebec City, QC
8. Kelly Russell, Captain (Toronto Nomads) Bolton, ON
9. Stephanie Bernier, (Club de Rugby Quebec) Quebec City, Quebec
10. Emily Belchos, (Markham Irish RFC) Barrie, ON
11. Julianne Zussman, (Town of Mount Royal RFC) Montreal, QC
12. Andrea Burk, (Capilano RFC) North Vancouver, BC
13. Mandy Marchak, (Capilano RFC) Winnipeg, MB
14. Magali Harvey, (Club de Rugby Quebec) Quebec City, QC
15. Elissa Alarie, (Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue Rugby Club) Trois-Rivieres, QC
16. Marie-Pier Pinault-Reid, (Club de Rugby Quebec) Quebec City, QC
17. Olivia DeMerchant, (Woodstock Wildmen) Mapledale, NB
18. Kayla Mack, (Wild Oats RFC) Saskatoon, SK
19. Jacey Murphy, (Aurora Barbarians) Alliston, ON
20. Julia Sugawara, (Burnaby Lake RFC) Surrey, BC
21. Brittany Benn, (Guelph Redcoats) Napanee, ON
22. Jessica Dovanne, (Velox RFC) Victoria, BC
Tyson Beukeboom, (Aurora Barbarians) Uxbridge, Ontario
Mary-Jane Kirby, (Highland RFC) Brampton, ON
Amanda Thornborough, (Brandon Barbarians RFC) Brandon, MB
Brittany Waters, (Meraloma Athletic Club) Vancouver, BC
Canada’s Women’s Team Staff:
Head Coach: Francois Ratier
Forwards Coach: Gary Dukelow
Backs Coach: Colette McAuley
Technical Advisor: John Tait
Strength and Conditioning: Steve Mackinnon
Physiotherapist: Adrienne Stinson
Manager: Meaghan Howat
Analyst: James Kent
Media Manager: Bryan Kelly
WRWC 2014 BROADCAST SCHEDULE ON TSN:
Canada vs. Spain – Aug. 1 at 8:45 a.m. ET on TSN
Canada vs. Samoa – Aug. 5 at 10:45 a.m. ET on TSN
Canada vs. England – Aug. 9 at 9:30 a.m. ET on TSN2
Semifinal #1 – Aug. 13 at 11:45 a.m. ET on TSN
Semifinal #2 – Aug. 13 at 2:30 p.m. ET on TSN
Finals – Aug. 17 at 12:30 p.m. ET on TSN2
RUGBY CANADA WOMEN’S FIFTEENS 2014 FIXTURES
CANADA 51 – 7 USA
April 15, 2014
Shawnigan Lake School, Mill Bay, BC
CANADA 14 – 10 USA
April 19, 2014
Westhills Stadium, Langford, BC
CANADA 22-0 AUSTRALIA
June 6, 2014
Tauranga Domain, Tauranga, New Zealand
CANADA 8-16 NEW ZEALAND
June 10, 2014
Tauranga Domain, Tauranga, New Zealand
CANADA 21 – 33 NEW ZEALAND
June 14, 2014
Rugby Park, Whakatane, New Zealand
WOMEN’S RWC - CANADA 31-7 SPAIN
August 1, 2014
WOMEN’S RWC – CANADA VS SAMOA
August 5, 2014
WOMEN’S RWC – CANADA VS ENGLAND
August 9, 2014
WOMEN’S RWC SEMI-FINALS
August 13, 2014
WOMEN’S RWC FINALS
August 17, 2014