A little bit of a slow start for the Canadian women during their fourth and final pool play game at the NACRA 7s. It took the home side three minutes to get on the board, but Canada eventually built a 39-0 over Trinidad & Tobago.
The game started off sloppily on either side. Trinidad & Tobago started with a kickoff that didn’t go 10 meters; Canada was penalized in the scrum; and both sides were missing passes. But Canada’s defense did the work while the offense found its rhythm. Even though T&T was attacking, Canada drove them back to their tryline as the offense struggled to complete a clean pass. After what looked like a missed opportunity for a try when a finishing pass to Ariel Dubisette-Borrice fell short, play was called back to across the field, where advantage was being played from the previous scrum. Canada quickly swung the ball back to the mark, while T&T was slow to adjust, and Julia Greenshield dotted down, 5-0.
Canada attempted to keep their kickoff, but a knock-on called for a midfield scrum. But excellent pressure from scrumhalf Greenshields forced a poor outlet pass that trickled down the line and resulted in a turnover. Magali Harvey emphatically touched the ball between the posts after a simple sidestep from 10 meters out. She converted her try for the 12-0 lead.
As Canada found its groove, T&T slipped farther into disarray. There was a lot of confusion around the breakdown, with players often running into one another and frantic passes sailing end over end to flat-standing receivers. Canada continually made their opponents pay by eating up any space that T&T didn’t use.
Greenshields, Amanda Thornborough, Kayla Moleschi and Bianca Farella (2) finished out the game with tries – whether side-stepping tired defenders or powering out of a wrap.
With the win, Canada takes the top seed into the playoffs and will play the fourth-place team in the semifinals. There are still two games to be played before Canada’s opponent will be named.
In other news, Mexico got their first win of the tournament, defeating Cayman Islands 34-0. Mexico was much more fit, and combined with crisp passes and excellent finishing speed, Mexico outlasted a contact-hungry Cayman side.