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New Zealand beat Canada to win Women's Sevens Cup Final

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The 3rd HSBC Canada Women’s Sevens in Langford, B.C. wrapped up earlier today after hosting twelve of the best women’s sevens teams in the world for the third consecutive year. The New Zealand Black Ferns won their fourth Cup Title of the season, edging Canada 17-7 with tries from Michaela Blyde, captain Tyla Nathan-Wong and Alena Saili, while the hosts lone tally was scored by Julia Greenshields. With the enthusiastic hometown crowd of over 5,000 fans behind them, Canada finished the tournament 5-1 and, with the second place finish, moved into a tie for second place with Australia in the series standings with one tournament to go.

“As the sport of sevens continues to grow in popularity and participation, we are thrilled to have showcased the very best that the sport has to offer in our own backyard,” said Allen Vansen, CEO, Rugby Canada. “Congratulations to all of the teams for a successful week of competition, and a special thanks to the City of Langford, our Principle Partner HSBC, our Premier Partner The Butchart Gardens, as well as all of the supporting partners who play such an important role in delivering the HSBC Canada Women’s Sevens.”

Under sunny skies, the atmosphere remained enthusiastic and celebratory throughout the weekend, with more than 5,000 spectators over the course of the two-day event.  Fans showed up early both days, expressing their appreciation for all the competing nations, yet saving their loudest cheers for the Canadian women.  In partnership with the Songhees Nation, Sunday morning also included a performance by the Lekwungen Dancers and a presentation by Chief Ron Sam, to deliver a true celebration of sport, community and friendship.

Canada advanced to the final after defeating Brazil, France and Russia on Saturday in pool play, and continued their charge to the final on Sunday by defeating England, followed up with a thrilling win against Australia to put them into the Cup final against New Zealand.  Their result this weekend puts them in tied for second place heading into the final event of the HSBC Women’s Sevens Series in Clermont-Ferrand, France on June 24 & 25th.

Coach John Tait said, "It was tough to get any momentum going, it felt like we were trying to get some quicker ball going but they were disrupting us around the breakdown. We just need to adjust to the calls that are being made (by the official) a little quicker. The hurdle going into the tournament was us finishing 5th & 6th the last two years and now it’s winning it; we’re moving in the right direction. We’ve been in three finals this season out of five tournaments and we have one to go.

Traditionally over the last two years we’ve finished with a cup win to end the season, so we’ll target France and hopefully we can finish one better,” said John Tait.

CANADA 33-5 ENGLAND – Cup Quarter-Finals

Ghislaine Landry had a brace as Canada cruised into the cup semis in Langford. Early tries from Ashley Steacy and Britt Benn gave Canada a 12-0 lead before England hit back through a Deborah Fleming try. Landry grabbed her first try of the game just before the break to make it 19-5 before adding her second midway through the second half.

Megan Lukan rounded things out for Canada as she scored her first try of the tournament as Canada comfortably moved into the cup semis.

CANADA 17-10 AUSTRALIA– Cup Semi-Finals

Canada reached the cup final after a tense affair with Australia that could have gone either way. Australia struck first as captain Sharni Williams touched down but Canada were soon even as Ghislaine Landry found a hole and took it to the house to tie it up at 5-5.

Canada took the lead into the break as Julia Greenshields stretched for the line but Australia came back strong to start the second half but if not for some great Landry defence, and a fumble by Brooke Walker on a sure try, Australia would have been even. However, Canada took advantage as Charity Williams paced away down the wing before Cassandra Staples' last minute try cut the deficit to 17-10 but Canada won the restart to seal a place in the cup final.

CANADA 7-17 NEW ZEALAND– Cup Final

Canada fell to New Zealand in another cup final after the hosts couldn't claim victory on home soil. Michaela Blyde gave the Kiwis an early 7-0 advantage before captain Tyla Nathan-Wong extended the lead to 12-0. Canada were able to get on the board through a Julia Greenshields try to cut the deficit to 12-7 at half time. An Alena Saili try was all the scoring in the second half as New Zealand claimed its fourth cup title of the season.