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Canadian women finish fourth at L.A. Sevens rugby tourney, Canadian men place 12th

Canada's Carissa Norsten, centre right, attacks the U.S defence on Day 2 of the HSBC SVNS Los Angeles in Carson, Calif., in a Saturday, March 2, 2024, handout photo. The Americans won the group game 22-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-World Rugby, KLC fotos, Mike Lee, *MANDATORY CREDIT*

CARSON, Calif. — The Canadian women followed their third-place finish last weekend in Vancouver with a fourth Sunday at the HSBC SVNS Los Angeles.

Canada was beaten 21-7 by the United States in the third-place playoff at Dignity Health Sports Park.

Captain Naya Tapper opening the scoring for the Americans, outpacing several Canadians for a converted try and a 7-0 lead. It was the 129th try of her career. Krissy Scurfield's converted try tied it after Sophie de Goede slashed through the U.S. defence.

Steph Rovetti scored early in the second half, finding a hole in the Canadian defence and then accelerated down the pitch for a 14-7 lead. The Americans were awarded a penalty try with Asia Hogan-Rochester sinbinned for preventing a try by shoving aside an American as they both chased the ball toward the Canadian try-line.

The U.S. edged Canada 22-19 on Saturday in a game to decide first place in Pool C. The Canadians leave in fifth place in the overall standings.

Michaela Blyde scored three tries as New Zealand defeated Australia 29-14 in the women's final, which matched the top two teams in the standings. 

France downed an injury-depleted Britain 21-0 in the men's championship game, capping a weekend of upsets. France was seventh in the overall standings coming into the tournament while Britain was 10th.

The French, who beat Britain 19-12 when they met Saturday in pool play, had won just one tournament previously — in 2005 in Paris. 

Growing pains continued for the Canadian men, beaten 28-15 by South Africa in the 11th-place playoff.

Canada, which is rebuilding under coach Sean White, has finished last in four of the five events this season with a seventh-place finish in Cape Town the lone bright spot in terms of the standings. On the plus side, Liam Bowman and Noah Flesch scored the first sevens tries of their career in the South Africa loss.

The Canada men, beaten by France, Fiji and Britain in Pool C play, have lost 14 straight since defeating France 33-7 on Dec. 10 to finish seventh in Cape Town.

The Canadian women opened the day with a 28-19 win over France in the Cup quarterfinals, leading 21-0 at the half before the French stormed back. Chloe Daniels, Hogan-Rochester, Piper Logan and Sabrina Poulin scored tries for Canada with Daniels kicking three conversions and Hogan-Rochester one.

That set up a rematch of last weeks semifinal in Vancouver, won 15-7 by New Zealand.

Canada lost 31-12 this time, conceding first-half tries by Blyde and Portia Woodman-Wickliffe as its defence was found wanting. De Goede scored two tries for Canada in the second half but New Zealand added three of its own to seal the win.

The Canadian women defeated Australia 19-14 to finish third in Vancouver while New Zealand beat France 35-19 to hoist the trophy.

The slimmed-down sevens circuit features seven regular-season events, each featuring men's and women's competition, plus a grand final with promotion and relegation at stake.

The teams play next in Hong Kong and Singapore before wrapping up in Madrid from May 31 to June 2.


This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 3, 2024.

The Canadian Press

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