BC’s Sophie De Goede picked up the Player of the Match Award as Rugby Canada’s Senior Women’s 15s concluded their Pacific Four Series campaign with a 22-10 comeback victory over Australia at Semenoff Stadium in Whangarei, New Zealand.
The win ensured Kevin Rouet’s side finished the tournament in second place in the standings.
“First, I just want to say massive credit to Australia. Especially in this rain, that was super physical and they came out swinging. They definitely threw the first punch but I’m happy with how we responded to that.
“I think getting a try right before the half was big for us. Then I thought we executed pretty well down the stretch and stayed calm under pressure which is something we’ve been working on a lot so I’m really happy with how we finished it off.” Player of the Match Sophie De Goede
CANADA COMPLETES COMEBACK WIN
An early flurry of points from Australia, thanks to an Ashley Marsters try as well as a Lori Cramer conversion and successful penalty kick, were followed by Canadian tries from Emily Tuttosi, Justine Pelletier and Alex Ellis along with two conversions and a penalty kick by captain De Goede.
In rainy conditions, Australia’s early, fourth-minute lead came as a result of a kick in behind the Canada defensive line, which Marsters capitalized on to go over. Cramer’s conversion was successful, ensuring the Wallaroos went up 7-0.
The Australian scoring continued in the 13th minute as they were awarded with a penalty which Cramer dispatched between the posts to extend their advantage to 10-0.
Despite those early setbacks, Canada were able to respond with a period of sustained pressure. A knock on deep inside Australian territory, a strong defensive stand by the Wallaroos and a disallowed try after video review were all that stood between them and getting points on the board.
A well-deserved breakthrough finally came in the 39th minute when Tuttosi collected the ball from a maul following a lineout to claim Canada’s opening try, cutting Australia’s lead to three points just before the half after De Goede was also successful with the conversion.
After the break, Canada’s captain cleverly detached from a scrum and the play resulted in Pelletier going over to give them their first lead of the match. De Goede’s successful penalty conversion from close range in the 64th minute then widened the Canadian advantage.
Australia were down a player for the final minutes of the match after Madison Schuck was shown a yellow card. Canada capitalized on their numerical advantage as, two minutes from time, an Alex Ellis try from close quarters and another successful De Goede conversion completed the scoring.