Canada won in the fifth-place final against the US in front of a jubilant crowd at Starlight Stadium in Langford.
In a tight match, two tries from Florence Symonds and Keyara Wardley in the first half were enough to seal the victory for the home team 12-7. The crowd was overjoyed with newcomer Krissy Scurfield, a University of Victoria student impressing throughout.
The day had started slow for Canada with a big loss to New Zealand in the HSBC Sevens World Series stop Sunday morning but they made the fifth-place final after a hard-fought victory over Fiji in the semis.
Canada showed grit and resolve against Fiji, coming back from being down 19-12 early in the second half. The game started well for the team in red with Wardley crossing for her third try of the tournament with two minutes gone.
But Fiji replied quickly in a pattern that repeated itself several times, with the teams going back and forth – the skilful Fijiains seemingly finding it easy to regain any lost ground Canada had to fight hard for.
In the second half, Canada had more of the ball and made it count, with Pam Buisa and Scurfield carrying strongly down the right side of the field.
A series of big carries left Canada with an overlap and the ball in Fiji’s 22, with Symonds dummying and finishing cooly to bring Canada level with four minutes left.
It was anyone’s game, but Scurfield showed determination and devastating dynamism as she broke around the outside and ran in the winning try with a minute left, the crowd exploding as she dotted down between the posts, to make the score 26-19, sealing the victory for Canada.
It was a strong performance and showing, especially after a tough loss in the quarter-final match on Sunday morning against New Zealand, 38-0.
The Kiwis were not short of fluency in attack, despite the Langford tournament being their first appearance in the five-stop 2022 HSBC Women’s Sevens tour thus far. The scoring started with legend of the sport Portia Woodman, who scored her 200th try for New Zealand on the sevens circuit, the first woman to do so in the history of the tour, and New Zealand did not take their foot off the pedal throughout, running in six tries.
The fifth-place finish is Canada’s best of the 2022 season so far, with one leg of the HSBC Sevens World Series left in Toulouse. Elsewhere, Ireland finished third, powered by a tournament-high 12 tries by Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe.
New Zealand and Australia meet in the final with Australia taking gold with a 21-17 victory. Australia has won four out of five legs of this season’s tour so far.
In the bronze final, Ireland topped France 22-14.