April 16th, 2024

Canada women book quarterfinal spot at Vancouver sevens, men fall to Spain

By The Canadian Press on February 24, 2024.

Spain's Jimena Blanco-Hortiguera Pedrero, left, and Spain's Anne Fernandez de Corres, right, try to take down Canada's Chloe Daniels during Vancouver Sevens women's rugby action, in Vancouver, on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2024. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ethan Cairns

VANCOUVER – Canada’s women’s rugby sevens squad ran out to a 22-5 win over Spain on the second day of the HSBC SVNS at B.C. Place to book a spot in the quarterfinals.

As a result, the Canadians will take on the U.S. in quarterfinal action.

Head coach Jack Henratty said he and his team are pleased with the win but know tougher tests await them in the later round.

“We’re happy. We wanted to get into the quarterfinals,” he said. “I think for us, we wanted to put in a complete 14 minutes … I don’t think that was a complete 14 minutes and we still needed to punch away.”

After taking an early two-try lead courtesy of Fancy Bermudez and Florence Symonds, Spain pulled one back to end the first half 10-5.

Charity Williams restored the lead midway through the second half after receiving an off-load from Symonds to break down the wing.

The try marked Williams’ 452nd point in sevens competition.

“It’s been a long time coming, it’s been 10 years that I’ve been on this team and it’s a pretty big day for me,” she said.

Asia Hogan-Rochester sealed the win with a try with just over a minute left.

It started with a scrum on the opposite side of the field before Hogan-Rochester found free space.

Earlier in the day, Australia preserved its unbeaten record with a 17-12 win over the U.S. while Fiji hammered Japan 36-12.

Australia and Fiji will meet in the women’s quarterfinals on Saturday evening.

The Canadian men’s team fell 31-14 to Spain to finish winless and at the bottom of Pool A.

Spain’s Josep Serres opened the scoring with Juan Ramos doubling the lead a minute later.

Josiah Morra pulled one back for the Canadians in added time of the first half, with the crowd serenading the team with a rendition of ‘O Canada’ at halftime.

But the comeback was short-lived as Spain’s Ramos scored a try at the start of the second half, eventually pulling away for the comfortable win.

France’s Antoine Dupont also marked his first sevens appearance with a try in a 31-5 win over Australia.

Dupont, 27, skipped this year’s Six Nations to play sevens as he bids to win Olympic gold in Paris this summer.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 24, 2024.

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