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Rio Olympics: Canada stuns France to enter Women's Rugby Sevens semi-final

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Canada’s Women’s Rugby Sevens Olympic team will be playing for a medal in the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro after advancing to the semifinals in rugby sevens following a 15-5 win over France in the quarterfinals. Canada will face Australia in the semifinals, the top ranked team in the world.

After coming away with two victories on day one action at Deodoro stadium in Rio, Canada dropped their final pool match on Sunday, a 22-0 loss to Great Britain. The loss meant Canada finished second in Pool C, setting up the quarterfinal tilt with France later on Sunday.

The win over France was a bit of redemption for Canada, who last played the French side at the Langford Sevens in April, losing in the cup quarterfinals in the dying seconds in front of their home crowd. Canada opened the tournament with two impressive wins on Friday against Japan and Brazil in which they outscored their opponents 83-0.

CANADA 0-22 GREAT BRITAIN

With top spot in the group up for grabs, Great Britain put in a strong performance to beat a Canadian side that battled mistakes throughout the match. After beating Japan 45-0 and Brazil 38-0 on day one of pool play, Canada looked like a different side on Sunday morning; dropping balls, missing tackles, turning the ball over at an unusual rate.

While both teams looked nervous in the opening minutes, it was Great Britain who finally touched down with the first try of the match almost four minutes in.

With Canada pressing for an equalizer in the closing seconds of the half, it was Great Britain causing a turnover near their tryline and going the length of the pitch to make it a 10-0 halftime deficit for the Canadians. Great Britain would add two more tries in the second half to make it 22-0 as they claimed first place in Pool C.

CANADA 15-5 FRANCE

Canada advanced to the rugby sevens semifinals with a hard fought 15-5 win over France. The Canadians were coming off a disappointing loss to Great Britain earlier in the day, where they looked out of sorts in dropping their final match of pool play.

After both teams traded possession in the first few minutes of play, it was France who struck first, jumping out to a 5-0 lead three minutes in. Kayla Moleschi answered for Canada, picking the ball up from the back of a scrum, faking out a French defender then using her speed to go the rest of the way as the teams headed into half tied 5-5.

Canada came out of the halftime huddle looking like a more confident team and played as such for the remaining seven minutes. They controlled ball possession while continuously preventing any offensive attack from France.

Under relentless pressure, the French defensive line finally cracked with 90 seconds to play, as Bianca Farella scored a try to give Canada a 10-5 lead. Ghislaine Landry added some insurance just as the hooter was sounding and Canada were off to the semifinals with a 10-point win.

Day 3 – August 8

Canada vs Australia (Semifinals) – 1:30 pm ET / 10:30 am PT