May 28th, 2024

Canada women even their record at Singapore Sevens while men suffer two close losses

By The Canadian Press on May 3, 2024.

Canada’s Shalaya Valenzuela, centre with ball, attacks the Spain defence on Day 1 of the HSBC SVNS at National Stadium in Singapore in a Friday, May 3, 2024, handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-World Rugby, Mike Lee — KLC fotos, *MANDATORY CREDIT*

SINGAPORE – Canada’s women evened their record at the Singapore Sevens with a 28-7 win over Spain after opening with a 5-0 loss to Ireland.

The Canadian women, who came into the rugby sevens tournament in fifth place in the season standings after six events, wrap up Pool A play Saturday against unbeaten New Zealand.

Carissa Norsten scored two tries and Alysha Corrigan and Krissy Scurfield added singles in the win over Spain. Chloe Daniels kicked three conversions and Breanne Nicholas booted one.

New Zealand and Australia, who came to Singapore atop the women’s standings each with 106 points, won both their opening matches to secure their places in Saturday’s quarterfinals.

New Zealand thumped Spain 38-7 and Ireland 31-10, with Portia Woodman-Wickliffe scoring her 250th try.

The Canadian men, who sit last among 12 teams, saw their losing streak on the sevens circuit extend to 22 games after falling 22-17 to New Zealand and 21-14 to Australia.

On the plus side, the Canadians pushed No. 5 New Zealand and No. 6 Australia to the limit, with the All Blacks tying the game in the 14th minute before scoring the winning try in extra time.

Former Australian 15s captain Michael Hooper scored his first international sevens try in the win over Canada. Matt Oworu, returning from injury, scored both tries for Canada with Thomas Isherwood adding two conversions.

David Richard scored two tries and Phil Berna added a single in Canada’s loss to New Zealand, which had to rally from a 10-7 deficit at the half. Brock Webster booted a conversion.

The rebuilding Canadian men have collected a minimum one-point in five of the first six events. They have not won defeating France 33-7 on Dec. 10 to finish seventh in Cape Town.

The Canadian men wrap up pool play against Series-leading Argentina.

Australia, France, South Africa and the United States are already through to the men’s quarterfinals with perfect records.

The slimmed-down sevens circuit, rebranded this season as HSBC SVNS from the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, features seven regular-season events, each featuring men’s and women’s competition, plus a grand final with promotion and relegation at stake.

The men’s and women’s team with the most cumulative points after seven rounds claim the title of SVNS 2024 League Winners, while the top eight-placed teams earn their place in the new “winner takes all” Grand Final May 31 to June 2 n Madrid, where the men’s and women’s champion will be crowned.

The eighth and final spot in the Madrid women’s final will be decided when No. 8 Britain and No. 9 Brazil meet Saturday. Britain, which currently has a two-point edge in the standings, and Brazil both lost their opening two games in Singapore.

The Canadian men, who won a relegation playoff last year to preserve their core status, will find themselves fighting to stay up in Madrid. The Canadian women, in contrast, will get a chance to go after the grand prize.

The relegation bracket in Madrid, featuring the bottom four teams in the SVNS standings and the top four from the World Rugby HSBC Sevens Challenger series, will determine the remaining four HSBC SVNS core teams.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 3, 2024.

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