HSBC 7s: Women’s Rugby – Totally Wicked

LAS VEGAS, Nevada — Fans that decided to only watch the men’s games at Sam Boyd Stadium Saturday, missed out on fluid technical game play.

Canada made play making look easy against France, where Canada won in a 33 shutout. France performed on fire the night before, and to see them not score at all versus Canada caught some people off guard while watching today’s game.

Canada’s Olympian and prop Brittany Benn ducked out of a high tackle while simultaneously stepping out of a low tackle. Benn nearly lost her footing, but regained balance as she darted the last five meters into the try zone.

Canada’s captain and scrum half Ghislaine Landry kicked the ball after retrieving it from a ruck for a self snipe at the 22 — she out paced four of the French players.

Ireland beat USA the day before, but today USA found the gaps necessary to utilize effective offloads to win 20-12. USA played solidly, and USA flanker Leyla Alev Kelter assisted in nearly every try made.

Most people already know the New Zealand played well — it’s simply what they do. New Zealand’s wing, Portia Woodman assisted in most plays made in their game versus Russia Saturday, and made an impressive run down the field from the 50 for a try.

The crowd went wild when New Zealand’s flanker Tyla Nathan-Wong off loaded, as she hit the ground, to New Zealand’s prop Ruby Tui. Russia only scored one try before half time, but New Zealand locked them out for the rest of the game.

Canada faced off against Australia in the semi-finals, and the game play was so powerful that some fans in the stands said, “Wow, is this power rugby?”

Australia displayed explosive agility when Australia’s #7 Charlotte Caslick popped the ball to #5 Emma Tonegato, who dashed in for a corner try. Tonegato’s conversion was successful, despite the fiercely blowing wind.

Australia beat Canada 26-17.

USA went head to head with New Zealand, but it may be questionable as to the validity of the game, because of several calls by the sir, which left the entire stadium booing. Calls included an obvious offside by New Zealand, which was instead called as a penalty against USA. Several times advantage was ignored when USA had the break away.

New Zealand played well, they always play well, but the result of this game made some fans feel the calls were unfair and favored New Zealand, which is disrespectful to a great team that doesn’t need any help.

New Zealand beat USA 12-7, and will face Australia in the finals Sunday.

*EDIT: This post was edited at 8:55 p.m. on 3/4/17

CORRECTION: New Zealand played Australia for the finals on Saturday, not Sunday.

New Zealand played hard ball with Australia, and made the Aussies pay for every mistake on the pitch. New Zealand held Australia at zero points for the majority of the game.

Australia made a last ditch effort with one minute left on the clock. Caslick raced down the pitch from Australia’s 10-meter line, dodged a tackle and was taken down in the try zone. She placed the ball and saved Australia from a shut out to New Zealand.

New Zealand beat Australia 28-5 to win first place.

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