Fancy Bermudez scored a pair of tries because the Canadian women defeated Ireland 24-12 Sunday to place themselves in position for his or her best result this season on the HSBC Canada Sevens tournament.
The ladies can place fifth within the tournament with a win over Fiji. Their previous best was eighth in Cape Town, South Africa.
“It should give us some good momentum going into the previous few stops,” said Bermudez, a back from Edmonton. “It should do quite a bit.”
The boys, who staged an upset over Australia Friday but missed advancing to the quarterfinals because of a points differential, lost 31-14 to South Africa of their only game Sunday and finished in a tie for fifteenth place.
“It’s a bummer to not come away with points,” said captain Phil Berna.
The poor finish was a blow to a men’s team that got here into the tournament sitting 14th within the World Rugby Sevens Series standings and fighting to avoid relegation
The ladies fell behind 7-0 against Ireland but responded with 24 straight points. The sport turned when prop Olivia De Couvreur of Ottawa delivered a crunching hit early in the primary half.
“That was a bit monument piece,” said Bermudez. “It really got our energy back up after having a pair unforced errors. We just took that and ran with it.”
Co-captain Olivia Apps of Lindsay, Ont., scored a try to kicked two converts. Keyara Wardley of Vulcan, Alta., also scored a try.
The Canadian women entered the tournament with 16 points and ranked tenth after 4 stops on their tour.
Fans at BC Place Stadium were decked out in elaborate and vibrant costumes. There have been furry onesies and vivid wigs. Some pink pigs with floppy ears sat near a flock of bees. A bunch of abominable snowmen waved a Canadian flag.
There have been sailors, pirates, construction employees, and a bunch in orange prison suits watched over by police in sunglasses.
People danced to the music and waved flags from the various nations playing.
Lachlan Kratz of Victoria scored a try to kicked two converts in the lads’s loss to South Africa. Jake Thiel of Abbotsford, B.C., added a try.
Each teams had a roller-coaster ride throughout the tournament but the lads probably deserved a greater fate. The ladies took advantage of a smaller field and a points differential system that worked of their favour.
This 12 months the tournament was expanded to incorporate a full slate of 12 women’s teams competing similtaneously the 16 men’s teams.
The Canadian women lost their opening games 28-7 Ireland and 17-12 to the U.S, then rebounded to beat Brazil 31-7.
They finished with a 1-2 record in Pool C but moved on due to their point differential. The highest two teams from the three women’s pools advanced to the quarterfinals, together with the 2 best third-place teams.
The ladies then showed a determined effort in a 10-5 loss to Recent Zealand, top-of-the-line teams on the planet.
The boys looked terrible in a 35-5 loss to Ireland of their opening game then played one in all their best games of the tournament to beat Australia 29-12. They beat Chile 35-7 Saturday morning.
Despite a 2-1 record, they didn’t advance to the medal round. The highest two teams of the 4 men’s pools moved on. The boys’s point differential left them in third.
They lost 19-14 to Spain within the ninth-place quarterfinal.
Men’s interim coach Sean White saw positives in his team’s performance.
”I don’t think we’re blissful but we will definitely be proud,” he said.
“Our highs are really high immediately and our lows are quite low. We’ve just got to seek out that even keel. I feel we’ve shown what we’re able to, it’s nearly that repeat performance.”
Berna said the team is sort of a jigsaw puzzle that hasn’t been put together yet.
“We imagine now we have all of the parts,” said the Vancouver native. “We just need to put it together on a consistent basis.”
The sevens series is reducing the variety of men’s core teams for the 2024 season from 16 to 12, to equal the number of girls’s teams and align with the Olympic competition structure.
The boys needed to achieve the quarterfinals of the ultimate 4 tournaments, while managing wins when playing teams ahead of them, to realize enough points to climb into eleventh place or higher and avoid playing in a relegation playoff.
“We don’t hide from the very fact there’s relegation,” said White. “But on no account will we go in taking a look at what number of points we want.
“We’re attempting to put the perfect performance in for every game and see where we get to.”
The highest 4 men’s and girls’s teams at the top of the season will qualify routinely for the 2024 Paris Olympics.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 5, 2023.
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