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Canada sweep USA to fire a shot ahead of WRWC2014

Rugby Canada

irb.com     21 Apr 2014     Rugby Canada

The series was in the bag for Canada after an emphatic 51-7 victory earlier in the week, but the home side had to recover from a 10-0 deficit at half-time to avoid defeat against their neighbours.

Elissa Alarie scored the winning try for Canada late in the second half, securing a second confidence-boosting victory before they head off to New Zealand next month to face the world champions twice and Australia.

The Women’s Eagles had clearly learnt from their mistakes in game one and read Canada’s game plan well and were able to continually put pressure on their opponents, taking the lead through wing Amanda Street’s try after a turnover.

As the rain began to pour down in Langford, the Women’s Eagles increased their lead when second row Sharon Blayney crashed over and despite ending the first half in Canada’s half they were unable to improve their advantage.

Full back Magali Harvey got Canada on the scoreboard with a penalty and the hosts managed to keep their try-line intact despite USA pressure. Harvey cut the deficit to four points just before the hour with a penalty after USA number 8 Kate Daley was sin-binned.

Productive series for Canada

With their replacements making a difference, Canada picked up the pace and when Laura Russell broke the Women’s Eagles’ line it gave them the impetus they needed, Alarie beating two defenders to edge her side ahead for the first time.

Andrea Burk added another penalty to make certain of victory and give Canada a 48-point aggregate win in the two-match Series, which has been part of a two-week training camp in British Columbia.

“There are a lot of things we need to address from today’s performance but overall I was impressed with the team’s ability to come back from behind and win the game,” said Canada coach Francois Ratier.

“I thought the camp at Shawnigan Lake School around the Can-Am series was very productive and we are feeling good leading into our New Zealand tour in June and the World Cup in Paris in August.”

His counterpart Pete Steinberg added: “It’s a hard loss to take. We feel like the game, today, we should have won. The performance on Tuesday wasn’t good enough and we’ve worked really hard the last three days to step up, and we stepped up our performance today, but we have to learn from this game.”

The Women’s Eagles will now host a top 50 player camp at the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley, Colorado, from 24 May to 1 June. They will then head to the United Kingdom for a three-match tour from 24 June to 7 July with a match against Wales and two against England.