LANGFORD, B.C. — Canada squeaked into the quarterfinal at the World Women’s Rugby Sevens Series with a thrilling 19-17 last-second win over Ireland.
Canada’s victory gave the sevens squad a 2-1 record Saturday at Westhills Stadium, which was packed with about 3,500 spectators.
Canada is set to play the United States on Sunday morning.
“It was amazing,” said Canadian Charity Williams, who sealed the victory by sprinting from Canada’s goal line to the Irish end zone on the final play of the game.
“I know, I’m tired and if I’m tired they must be even more messed up,” said Williams, adding all she could think was, “We’ve got to score.”
Canada started Saturday with a 22-7 loss to world No. 1 Australia, but bounced back with a 24-10 win over Spain, in which Williams scored two tries with blistering runs.
Canada is on home turf this weekend looking to break out of an extended slump that saw the team finish fourth at the recent Commonwealth Games in Australia and fail to qualify for the medal round at a Sevens Series event in Japan.
Canada is currently ranked No. 5 in the world.
Sara Kaljuvee said Canada has yet to hit its stride in the tournament.
“I feel we have a lot more to bring and I feel day one didn’t show what we’re truly capable of,” she said. “Day 2, we’re going to come out flying.”
Canadian captain Ghislaine Landry said the team gutted out the win over Ireland, but expects to bring more polish and finish into Sunday’s matches.
“Obviously, not our best but good enough for today,” she said. “We got the job done.”
She said earlier the team needed to regroup after the opening loss to the top-ranked Australians.
Assistant coach Morgan Williams said the team has played better this year, but the berth in the finals gives Canada the opportunity to succeed.
“The good thing about it and the good thing about rugby is there’s tomorrow,” he said.
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