The World Cup snowball of Canada’s National Senior Women’s team is growing after a 40-10 victory over Sweden in London, England.
Six tries shared by three of Canada’s backline – including a hat trick by Olympian Heather Moyse – ensured a second bonus point win at the 2010 Rugby World Cup.
This was fourth-ranked Canada’s second consecutive pool win, setting up a true Pool C decider against third-ranked France in four days’ time.
The NSWT signaled their intent by scoring runaway tries within the first minute of both halves, initially shocking the underdog Europeans, but the Swedes regained composure and, lead by their flyhalf Ulrika Andersson-Hall, put 10 points on the board.
Canada’s tries were all scored outside of 12; Marchak found success through the middle after taking an offload from centre Sarah Ulmer, but the other five tries showcased Canada’s speed out wide.
Moyse, who lead the 2006 World Cup scoring race with seven tries, is already more than halfway to her previous tally with four tries in two matches at the 2010 tournament.
Fullback Ashley Patzer also has an international reputation for scoring after her 38-point performance in Dubai at the Sevens Rugby World Cup, so it was no surprise when she added her name to scoresheet, once in each half.
Canada had a strong 9-10 ball bearing connection today, allowing for the action to get out wide. Flyhalf Anna Schnell was one half of that game strength, and said that Canada is capable of more, but were hampered by their penalty count.
“Once we were able to get our hands on the ball and were able to get a little momentum we found our groove, but we gave up a lot of penalties and weren’t able to find that groove as much as we would’ve liked.
Canada went through a rough patch in 2009, being given a yellow card in almost every international test they played from the end of August through until January 2010. The NSWT has since addressed the issue, and Schnell said this awareness will help them.
“I think it’s something we have to be more conscious of. We just have to be more disciplined, so I don’t think anyone’s getting nervous about it. We like to play hard, but we just have to know where to draw that line.
Even without a try, Schnell is still currently the second-leading scorer of the tournament thanks to her trusty boot. She missed only one attempt at goal today.
Head Coach Johnathan Long echoed his flyhalf’s sentiments regarding the NSWT’s penalties.
“We seemed to pick up lots of penalties for lots of different things. We’re going to have to have a look at the video footage so we can really try and work to correct it. Penalties obviously do cause us a few issues and you could see that in the second half, but we’ll go away and work on it so we’ll be on top of it come France.”
One of those international tests where Canada was given a costly yellow card was their match against France at the renowned Stade de France. Canada played two tests on that tour and split the results, adding even more weight to this next pool match.
Canada has been careful not to get ahead of themselves at the World Cup, mostly because of the impending game against France. The French are characteristically nonchalant until it comes to large scale games, which possibly explains their narrow 15-9 win over Sweden and 17-7 victory over the Scots, but they will be gunning for the Canadians on Saturday.
In the World Cup tournament format, the top teams from each pool advance through to the semi-finals, along with the next best team out of all three pools. If Canada should win this game, they would guarantee themselves a spot in the semis.
Coach Long and his squad have been looking forward to this match since the tournament pools were announced, he says.
“The game against France is going to be a humdinger. It’s fourth versus third and we lost at Stade to them. Both [teams] know that both of us are going to bring it. They’ll put their strongest side out against us, something they haven’t done yet, and it’s going to be one hell of a game.”
Canada and France play on Saturday, August 28 at 2.15pm BST.
Tries: Mandy Marchak, Ashley Patzer (2), Heather Moyse (3)
Cons: Anna Schnell (5)
Tries: Charlotta Westin-Vines
Cons: Ulrika Andersson-Hall
Canada vs. Sweden
– but the sailors praise the new boats