Canadians finish 6th at 7-a-side World Cup after being beaten 53-0 by Fiji


The Canadians ran into a buzz in Fiji at the Rugby 7s World Cup on Sunday, losing 53-0 to finish sixth in the 16-team field.

Fifth-seeded Canada trailed 34-0 at half-time as No.6 Fiji, claiming one restart after another, ran in six of their nine tries before the break.

Fiji held on to the opening kick-off and took a 10-0 lead thanks to tries from Reapi Ulunisau and Alowesi Nakoci in the opening two minutes. The Fijians once again broke through the Canadian defense as Ana Maria Naimasi fended off Florence Symonds to make it 15-0 after four minutes.

The onslaught continued with Sesenielie Donu fending off Breanne Nicholas en route to the try line. Fiji won the ball on the restart and Ulunisau scored under the posts. The conversion made it 27-0 for Fiji.

It was more or less the same on the next kick-off with Raijieli Daveua climbing high to collect the ball and then unloading on Ulunisau to score under the posts and complete the first-half barrage.

Lavenia Cavuru, Adi Vani Buleka and Donu added second-half tries to complete Fiji’s rout.

The teams had shared their two previous encounters on the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, with Fiji winning 28-26 in Dubai and Canada winning 26-19 in Langford, British Columbia.

De Couvreur leads against England

Earlier Sunday, the 10th-ranked Canadian men finished 13th in the 24-team men’s field, recording 12 straight points against 17th-ranked Chile for a 12-10 win.

The Canadians, runners-up to New Zealand at the 2013 Moscow tournament, finished seventh four years ago in San Francisco. The best Canadian male performance was a fifth place finish in 2001 in Argentina. They were 12th four years ago.

Couvreur’s Olivia scored two tries with singles from Nicholas and Keyara Wardley as Canada scored 22 consecutive points after conceding a fourth-minute try from Abbie Brown beat No.8 England 22-7 to open the game sunday.

De Couvreur was originally a traveling reserve but joined the playing squad after an injury to veteran Bianca Farella, who ranks second on the World Series top scorers list with 157.

De Couvreur, 22, was one of seven players on Canada’s 13-woman roster aged 22 or younger.

The Canadians were knocked out of the championship in a 10-7 loss to the fourth-seeded Americans in the quarterfinals on Saturday.

WATCH | The Canadian women’s team suffers a loss in the quarterfinals against the United States:

Rugby 7s World Cup 2022: Women’s Championship Quarter-Final – Canada vs USA

Watch Canada take on the United States in the quarter-finals of the Rugby Sevens World Cup South Africa 2022 Women’s Championship in Cape Town.

The Americans then took on top-seeded Australia, while No. 2 New Zealand took on No. 3 France in the semi-finals of the championship later on Sunday at Cape Town Stadium.

In the men’s semi-final, Ireland No.7 faced New Zealand No.5 while Australia No.2 faced Fiji No.3.

Against Chile, the Canadian men found themselves defensive for most of the first half and trailed 10-0 at the break.

Costly Kratz Penalty

Canada won the ball on the first kickoff, but gave it to Chile with a handling error and the South Americans attacked the Canadian end. After a penalty resulted in a scrum near the Canadian goal line, Julio Blanc hit the ground in the corner for a 5-0.

Thomas Isherwood made a try tackle to prevent a later Chile attack. And the Canadian Lockie Kratz was sent to the trash at the end of half-time for an illegal tackle. The Condors took advantage of the extra manpower with White scoring.

Josiah Morra put Canada on the board early in the second half, edging the defense down the right flank to cut the lead to 10-5. Kratz broke through the Chilean defense after a penalty and Brock Webster’s conversion gave Canada a 12-10 lead with two and a half minutes remaining. Kratz was injured on the play and had to be rescued.

After losing to Uruguay on Saturday, the Canadians survived a 19-point second-half comeback from the Welsh side to win 33-19 in the men’s consolation game later in the day.

Canada opened the men’s game on Friday with a 31-7 win over 23rd-placed Zimbabwe but were knocked out of the championship table after a 19-12 loss to seventh-placed France in the round of 16.

The 16-team men’s and women’s events both feature a « winner takes all » format, which means a single loss knocks you out of the championship.

Both Canadian programs have seen a lot of change with a series of retirements after the Tokyo Olympics where the men finished eighth and the women ninth.

South Africa marks the eighth edition of the men’s sevens World Cup and the fourth for the women. Canada qualified for all of them.

New Zealand have won the last two editions of the men’s and women’s seven-a-side World Cups.

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