Matthew Percillier scored two tries as the Canada men upset Australia 27-12 to keep their championship hopes alive, but the Canada women have their backs to the wall after playing their first two games at the HSBC Canada Sevens tournament on Friday at BC Place in Vancouver.
Alex Russell of Montreal and Kalin Sager of Trent Lakes, Ontario also scored for the men, who lost their previous two games this season to Australia by a aggregate score of 55-14. Thomas Isherwood of Okotoks, Alta. added a try and two converts.
The women lost 17-12 to the United States in the afternoon after losing a 28-7 decision to Ireland in the morning.
After beating Ireland 35-5 in their opening game, the men took their frustration out on Australia in the final game of the day in front of a raucous hometown crowd.
“The first game really knocked us out,” said Percillier, who was born in Victoria and now attends the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. “I’m incredibly proud of the boys. We really put our foot on their throats.
Canada’s women finish the pool game against Brazil at 2:28 p.m. ET on Saturday, while the men meet Chile at 5:35 p.m. ET.
A win over Chile would put Canada into the quarterfinals.
“The job is half done,” said interim coach Sean White. “I hope it’s the start of something special, but it all depends on how we react tomorrow.”
The women got tries from Montreal’s Bianca Farella and Charlottetown’s Alysha Corrigan, PEI, against USA’s Chloe Daniels of Sutton, Ontario, adding a convert.
“Whenever you play USA it’s a fight,” said Farella. “It was a really close game. It could have been anyone’s game.”
CLOCK | Women’s World Rugby Sevens Series Vancouver – Canada vs USA:
The women were 5-0 down at half time. Canada was strong defensively but only managed to cross midfield once.
Farella pulled off quite a cutback early in the second half to give Canada a 7-5 lead. The Americans countered with two tries in one minute.
Farella is playing in her 44th sevens tournament, tying her with Australia’s Sharni Williams for most on the all-time list.
“This is a huge milestone for me,” she said. “It’s cool to be this far in my career and still making milestones.”
Congratulations to Bianca Farella on entering her 44th HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series tournament! 🤩🇨🇦 She now shares the women’s all-time record with Australian Sharni Williams.#RugbyCA< /a> pic.twitter.com/v9v6nL5wjf
Canada Women (0-2) need a win against Brazil (0-2) on Saturday to keep their quarter-finals hopes alive. Ireland and USA lead Pool C 2-0.
The top two teams from the three pools advance along with the top two third-place finishers.
The men entered the tournament 14th in the World Rugby Sevens Series standings and are fighting relegation.
They need to reach the quarterfinals of the next four tournaments – and win while playing the teams ahead of them – to earn enough points to climb to 11th place or better and avoid falling into a relegation playoff play.
Against Ireland, the men controlled the ball early on but didn’t get forward. Ireland built a 21-0 half-time lead by scoring three hoops in under four minutes.
Sager scored Canada’s only try of the second half.
“We struggled to keep possession,” said Sager, who is in his first year in the World Rugby Sevens Series. “We didn’t quite get there.
“They gave us some good steals. Hopefully we start the next one with as much energy as we finished.”
CLOCK | Men’s World Rugby Sevens Series Vancouver – Canada vs Ireland:
The result was a slight improvement as the men lost 22-0 to Ireland in last weekend’s Los Angeles Sevens.
Keyara Wardley of Vulcan, Alta., scored Canada’s only last-minute try during the women’s opening loss to Ireland.
Head coach Jack Hanratty said some early errors put his team on the backfoot.
The early games were played before screaming schoolchildren were invited to the opening day of the tournament, which ends on Sunday. In the afternoon there were fans in costumes ranging from a group of white snow monsters, sailors, lots of brightly floral shirts and a few bananas.
The tournament has expanded to a full lineup of 12 women’s teams competing concurrently with the men.
The World Series is reducing the number of core men’s teams from 16 to 12 for the 2024 season to match the number of women’s teams and align with the Olympic competitive structure.
The Canadians have 16 points and are 10th after four stops on their tour.
The top four men’s and women’s teams at the end of the season automatically qualify for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.