Canada’s Senior Women’s and Men’s 7s teams got their Rugby World Cup 7s campaigns underway in Cape Town, South Africa on Friday.
The Women’s team, who played just once, overcame China while the Men’s team beat Zimbabwe before falling narrowly to France.
Here, catch up on how the matches played out with the Rugby Canada Day 1 recap:
Men’s Match 2: Canada 31-7 Zimbabwe
Canada’s Men’s 7s match against Zimbabwe was second game on Day 1’s schedule. Head Coach Henry Paul’s side took to the field and suffered an early setback when their opponents scored a try through Godfrey Magaramombe in the opening minute.
It took until midway through the first half for Canada to find their feet, but once they did they set about imposing their dominance on the match. Alex Russell got the scoring underway for the Canadians in the fifth minute before Anton Ngongo followed that up with another try before the break.
After half time, further tries from Jake Thiel, Ciaran Breen and another from Russell secured a resounding victory, which set up a round-of-16 clash with France.
“Credit to Zimbabwe, they came out absolutely firing and their energy straight from the tunnel heading out there kind of widened our eyes. We bounced right back and then didn’t let the early try get us down. We stayed levelheaded and kept the pressure on and kept rolling from there.” Canada Senior Men’s 7s Anton Ngongo
Women’s Match 5: Canada 24-5 China
Jack Hanratty’s Women’s team got their World Cup journey started with a clash against China. Like the Men, they went behind early as Hong Ting Ruan scored a try within the first 60 seconds.
Co-captain Breanne Nicholas soon answered for the Canadians, before Florence Symonds touched down in the eighth minute to give them a 12-5 half-time lead.
Following the break, Keyara Wardley got in on the action with an 11th-minute try before Krissy Scurfield added to Canada’s advantage as she went over with just two minutes remaining. That sealed a convincing 24-5 win which sets up a quarter-finals meeting with the USA on Saturday.
“I’m really proud of our performance. We were a bit messy but we came out and did what we needed to do to get to the quarter-finals and I’m happy with how we showed up. We have a strong belief in ourselves so even if we’re down a little bit we can still bring it and do what we need to do. They got the first hand on us but we came out and finished it off.” Canada Senior Women’s 7s Breanne Nicholas
Men’s Match 10: Canada 12-19 France
Coming up against France in the round of 16, Canada got off to the perfect start when captain Phil Berna went over to give them an early lead. It didn’t last long, however, as Jean Pascal Barraque retrieved a kick which hugged the sideline before touching down to level the score.
Canada thought they had retaken the lead twice on the stroke of half time but tries for Thomas Isherwood and Thiel were ruled out by the TMO on both occasions.
In the second half, Nelson Epee gave France the lead with consecutive tries in the eighth and 11th minutes respectively. Canada responded almost immediately, though, as Brock Webster broke through to score his first try of the tournament to make it 19-12, which is how the match ended.
Tomorrow, Canada’s Men’s team will get the action underway in their Challenge quarter-finals match at 5:31am ET/ 2:31am PT, while the Women’s team will face the USA in the Championship quarter-finals at 4:05pm ET/1:05pm PT.