Hamilton, NZ – January 26, 2020: Canada fell just short of winning their first tournament of the 2020 HSBC World Rugby Women’s Sevens series, finishing in second after losing to the hosting Black Ferns in the Hamilton Women’s Sevens final.
The Canadians, featuring two BC-born players in Kayla Moleschi and Caroline Crossley, kicked off their tournament with a 24-7 victory over Ireland, in which team captain Ghis Landry kicked her 300th career conversion. She is second only to New Zealand’s Tyla Nathan-Wong in the all-time list.
Hours later, Canada soundly defeated Spain by a score of 35-5. Westshore RFC’s Elissa Alarie, who was born in Quebec but has represented BC at the senior level, scored Canada’s final try of the match.
Canada’s final pool match was much closer, narrowly getting past France 21-19. France’s Lina Guerin scored a last-minute try to draw within two points, but the conversion kick flew just past the right-hand post and Canada escaped with the win.
Undefeated through three matches, Canada came up against Australia in the tournament semifinal. BC’s Kayla Moleschi scored her first try of the tournament en route to a 28-14 finish for the Canadians and a berth in their first final of the 2020 Sevens Series.
Brittany Benn struck first in the Hamilton Women’s Sevens final, with Landry converting to open up a 7-0 lead on the hosts five minutes into the match. But despite being level with the Black Ferns at the half, the high-octane New Zealand offence overran Canada in the second half of play as Canada fell to the hosts 7-24, earning their first silver medal and their highest-place finish through four tournaments in the 2020 season.
The Williams Lake-born Moleschi was one of two Canadian players named to the tournament Dream Team alongside Benn. Both players had fantastic tournaments.
With the second-place finish, Canada have risen to third place in the overall series standings ahead of the upcoming Sydney Sevens this weekend. The Sydney tournament is the second-to-last event ahead of May’s HSBC Canada Women’s Sevens in Langford, BC.