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Canadian women finish sixth in Toulouse in HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series finale

The Canadian men tied for 15th after falling 27-7 to Wales
Canada’s Brock Webster runs for his second try against Scotland during HSBC Canada Sevens rugby action, in Vancouver, on Sunday, April 17, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Krissy Scurfield and Ella O’Regan scored tries in a losing cause Sunday as Canada was beaten 19-14 by France to finish sixth at the HSBC France Sevens.

The French jumped into an early lead and were ahead 12-0 at the break. After Scurfield touched down, Joanna Grisez came out of the sin-bin to answer with a try for France. O’Regan added a consolation try for the Canadians. Olivia Apps kicked two conversions.

The Canadian women finished 3-3 at the rugby sevens tournament.

The Canadian men tied for 15th after falling 27-7 to Wales in the 13th-place semifinal to open play Sunday. Brock Webster scored the lone Canadian try with Cooper Coats adding the conversion.

The Canada men finished the weekend 2-3 at Stade Ernest-Wallon.

The Canadian women defeated Spain 26-12 and Scotland 14-7 on Friday but fell 17-0 to New Zealand in their final pool game Saturday. They then lost 22-21 to Ireland on a late try by Eva Higgins in Cup quarterfinal play.

On Sunday, they rebounded to defeat the U.S. 19-7 before facing France. Keyara Wardley, Olivia De Couvreur and Bianca Farella scored tries for Canada with Breanne Nicholas adding a pair of conversions in the loss.

The France event was the finale of the six-stop women’s World Sevens Series.

Reigning Olympic champion New Zealand won its first title since Sydney in 2020 win defeating 2022 Series champions Australia 21-14. Fiji downed Ireland 26-10 in the third-place game.

Australia, with four tournament victories from the opening five rounds, had secured the season title at the last round in Langford, B.C., where it beat New Zealand in the final. The Canadian women finished seventh overall on the season.

Fiji, which won gold in Singapore and silver in Vancouver, won the men’s tournament 29-17 to spoil Ireland’s first ever men’s Cup final.

“Ireland played well, but we worked hard,” said Fiji’s Waisea Nacuqu, named player of the final.

France defeated Samoa 17-12 to finish third.

Argentina, who finished fifth and lost to Canada in pool play, top of the men’s overall standings with 118 points with two events to go. South Africa is second with 116 points, ahead of Australia (110), Ireland (88) and Fiji (87).

The men’s Series continues next weekend in London before wrapping up in Los Angeles in late August.

The Canadian men, whose roster turned over after an eighth-place finish at the Tokyo Olympics, came to France 12th in the standings and exited in 14th place. They need to move up the standings given the bottom two of the 16 men’s core teams will be relegated at the end of the season.

The Canada men’s tournament highlight came Friday when they upset Argentina 19-12.

Argentina came into the tournament in second place overall in the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, having finished on the podium in five of the six previous events including a first-place finish at the HSBC Canada Sevens in Vancouver last time out in April.

The Canadian men lost 24-5 to England and beat Japan 40-14 win in their other pool games. They missed out on the Cup quarterfinals on point differential behind England.

There was controversy elsewhere in Canada’s pool Saturday when England’s Will Homer, with his side trailing 19-0, crossed the Argentina goal-line with 2 1/2 minutes remaining in the match.

Knowing the try would be enough to move England past Canada into the Cup quarterfinals on points differential, Homer elected to kill off the clock and didn’t touch the ball down until there was less than 30 seconds remaining — and little chance to affect their point differential.

Argentina, which moved into the quarterfinals with the win, did not bother to come after Homer until the game was in its final seconds. The South Americans won 19-7.

England and Canada finished pool play at 2-1-0 with England having a plus-18 points differential, compared to plus-14 for Canada.

The Canadians then lost 21-19 to Spain in the ninth-place quarterfinal Saturday.

—The Canadian Press

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