Canada defeats Ireland to finish 5th in women's rugby sevens in B.C.

England's Lydia Thompson, left, tries to stop Canada's Kayla Moleschi during the World Rugby Women's Sevens Series in Langford, B.C., Sunday, May, 13, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

LANGFORD, B.C. - Canada ended its weekend on a high note Sunday, defeating Ireland 29-12 for a fifth-place finish at the HSBC World Women's Rugby Sevens Series at Westhills Stadium.

The Canadian team put together its two best matches of the weekend Sunday afternoon defeating England and Ireland after a disappointing quarterfinal loss to the United States Sunday morning.

New Zealand defeated Australia by a lopsided 46-0 score in the series event final. The United States defeated France 21-5 to finish third.

"It's a cruel game in a lot of ways," said Canadian coach John Tait. "It was emotionally draining that quarterfinal, but the ladies came back and showed their resilience."

Canada was behind 14-0 to the Americans early in the quarterfinal contest before fighting back to take the lead, but losing 28-26 on an end-of-match conversion kick.

"We're going to learn from some of the lessons on day one and the quarterfinal," said Tait. "They put on their best two performances for the last under the most fatigue."

Canada held a 17-5 halftime lead over the Irish team and never looked back.

Tait said the Canadian team is building a new leadership core under the guidance of captain Ghislaine Landry as well Bianca Farella and Kayla Moleschi.

The team was without emotional leader Britt Benn this weekend and former captain Jen Kish who recently announced her retirement.

"There's no B league here," Tait said. "They have to play against the top teams in the world and that's where they learn their lessons."

Canada's record for the weekend stands at four wins and two losses, defeating England, Spain and Ireland twice, but losing to Australia and the U.S.

The Canadian women were on home turf 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.

Farella, with three tries against Ireland, said she was pleased the team rebounded after a difficult start Saturday and the quarterfinal defeat Sunday.

"It's tough right," she said. "Everyone's gunning for gold at this point. Our team is definitely developing."

Hannah Darling and Charity Williams added one try each for Canada and Landry booted two conversions.


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