Recap from Rugby Canada
Canada’s Women’s Rugby team have gone down bravely to England 26-19 in the Rugby World Cup Semi-Final at Eden Park in Auckland.
An incredibly courageous effort from Kevin Rouet’s side, the team came agonisingly close to beating the World’s No. 1 team, the fully professional Red Roses.
Canada started brightly, but England would make the most of their first opportunity in the game to open the scoring, converting from out wide to make it 7-0.
That early try gave England confidence, and despite some brave cover defence from Alex Tessier, England finished well in the corner to extend their lead. The conversion just hit the post, the score now 12-0.
Canada fought back. Off a lineout, scrum-half Justine Pelletier found half a gap and wriggled through, kicked to space and backrow Karen Paquin was first to chase down the grubber, dotting down to score. De Goede’s conversion just missed the mark, the score sitting at 12-5 after 20 minutes.
Continuing to fight back after England’s early dominance, Canada showcased their quality, working their way into England’s red zone. The maul got the English defence backpedaling towards their own tryline, and with advantage coming, Pelletier threw a beautiful looping pass for Alysha Corrigan to square things up.
Captain De Goede’s conversion missed by the narrowest of margins, and though England would add a penalty late in the half, Canada had a foothold in the game. The score 15-12 at half-time.
England added another penalty a couple of minutes after the break, extending their lead to six. As they had in the first half, Canada responded and looked destined to score, as they battered England’s try-line.
However, England somehow turned the ball over, and with Canada’s backline lined up to attack, England took full advantage and scored a runaway try, the score now 23-12.
Still, Canada refused to give up and a booming kick from Tessier put Canada five metres from England’s line again, the Red Roses also losing a player to the sin-bin for 10 minutes.
Despite their courageous efforts, Canada couldn’t convert the pressure into points, and England held on to their advantage.
Again, Canada did not wilt under pressure, and stuck to their tasks in defence for the next 10 minutes before breaking out through Elissa Alarie and Paige Farrie. England were solid in defence as well however, and Canada continued to search for the try to get them within touching distance.
Eventually the breakthrough came, Tyson Beukeboom ghosting through a hole in the English defence to break the Red Roses open. Canada barged at the try-line, and it was Beukeboom who would get the try.
De Goede converted to make it a one score game, though England would add a penalty, meaning Canada needed seven to tie the game.
The team continued to push, but the try just wouldn’t come, and England hung on to win 26-19.