Sydney, Australia – February 2, 2020: For the third time in the 2020 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, Canada reached the tournament final, but for the third time New Zealand was up for the challenge.
After a fantastic group stage performance and semifinal victory over the hosting Australia, Canada rolled into the final on a high, but were once again overwhelmed by the Black Ferns’ offensive prowess, despite a good showing in the tournament final.
The second-place finish pulls Canada into a tie for second place with Australia in the overall series standings.
The Canadians kicked off their Sydney campaign with a 33-10 victory over Brazil. Williams Lake native Kayla Moleschi scored the insurance try in Canada’s opening fixture, and added a conversion. Castaway Wanderers RFC player Karen Paquin also scored for Canada, and would go on to be named to the tournament Dream Team.
Canada’s next match was a narrow 20-14 victory over Fiji, with a late Keyara Wardley try extending Canada’s lead from 2 points to 7.
Showing no signs of slowing down, Canada took down the USA 21-7 in their final match of group play before blowing the doors off of Australia with a 34-0 victory in the semi-final, moving on to once again face New Zealand.
The Canadians held their own in the final, looking quite strong in the opening half after Charity Williams responded to Tyla Nathan-Wong’s score with a try of her own, bringing the familiar foes level heading into the halftime break.
It was in the second half when the Black Ferns took control of the match, scoring four unanswered tries to hand the cup to New Zealand.
Canada’s men’s team were less fortunate in Sydney than their counterparts on the women’s side, opening their tournament with a resounding 28-19 victory over Ireland, where BC boys Nathan Hirayama and Harry Jones dotted down and Hirayama added four conversions.
The Canadians were set up to do well, but dropped their final two pool fixtures to Spain and England, with Connor Braid the last BC try-scorer in pool play as he dotted down against England.
Canada fought hard and kept the match close in their placement playoff with France, but were unable to score and France’s lone try ended up being enough to secure ninth place with a 7-0 victory.
Canada’s men will begin preparations for the Los Angeles 7s at the end of the month, which will be quickly followed by the HSBC Canada 7s in Vancouver on March 7th & 8th.
Full videos of all matches from previous tournaments including the Sydney 7s, as well as live coverage of subsequent events on the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series calendar can be found at cbc.ca/sports.rugby.