Canadian women qualify for Olympic rugby sevens

It was a day to remember for John Tait’s women’s rugby sevens side as it battered the opposition Friday en route to becoming the first Canadian team to qualify for the 2016 Olympics.

AMSTERDAM — It was a day to remember for John Tait’s women’s rugby sevens side as it battered the opposition Friday en route to becoming the first Canadian team to qualify for the 2016 Olympics.

Fresh from blanking Spain and dumping the host Dutch on Day 1 of the final event of the Women’s Sevens Series season, World Rugby officials notified the Canadians that they had secured enough points to book their ticket to Rio de Janeiro.

The top four teams in the overall standings at the end of play Saturday automatically qualify.

Coming into Amsterdam with 96 points, Series leader New Zealand had already guaranteed its Olympic participation. Canada and Australia, tied for second with 76 points, joined the Kiwis thanks to Friday’s results.

“I’m very proud of all of them and grateful to be a part of this team,” Tait said. “We know can focus on building towards a gold-medal finish next year in Rio.”

Red Deer’s Paige Farries is a member of the Canadian team.

France and the U.S. (both on 62 points) and sixth-place England (60 points) are fighting for the last Olympic berth available this weekend. Russia, in seventh spot with 54 points, was also mathematically still in the hunt.

After getting the good news, the Canadian women handily defeated France, whom they will meet again in the Cup quarter-finals Saturday.

The Americans, led by former Canadian coach Ric Suggitt, would seem in the driver’s seat after also going 3-0 Friday to secure a quarter-final matchup with Spain. The Americans upset New Zealand 34-5 in pool play.

Saturday’s other quarter-finals are Australia versus Russia and England versus New Zealand.

Thanks to its lead in the overall standings, New Zealand won the Series for the third year in a row just by showing up in Amsterdam, the last of six stops on the circuit.

New Zealand opened Day 1 of the tournament by running in six tries in a 32-0 victory over Fiji before downing South Africa 31-7. But the Kiwis stumbled in their last game of the day against the Americans.

It was the third loss in two tournaments for New Zealand, which came into London last week riding a 36-match winning streak.

Canada opened by thumping Spain 29-0 on tries by Bianca Farella, Magali Harvey, Ghislaine Landry, Karen Paquin and Britt Benn. Landry added two conversions.

The Canadians trailed 5-0 early against the Netherlands but rallied for a 34-10 win on three tries by Landry and singles from Jen Kish, Paquin and Benn. Landry added two conversions.

For Landry, it was career tries No. 50, 51 and 52.

Hannah Darling, Harvey, Paquin and Benn scored tries in the 26-5 win over France. Landry kicked three conversions.

Fiji, South Africa, New Zealand and England have already qualified for the men’s Olympic field. England will be represented by Team Great Britain at the Games.

The 12-country Olympic fields will be filled out be regional qualifying tournaments and a world repechage competition. Host Brazil does not need to qualify.

The Canadian men will have to get past the surging U.S. Eagles at the North American qualifying event in June in North Carolina.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Black Press File Photo
Valentine’s Day shooting in central Alberta leaves one man in hospital and another in custody

19-year-old Francis Edward Nepoose from Maskwacis has been charged with attempted murder.

Minister Rick Wilson poses with Katie at the Boys and Girls Club of Wetaskiwin, both wearing her Pink Shirt Day design. Facebook/ Boys and Girls Club of Wetaskiwin.
Be kind and wear pink for Pink Shirt Day

Katie with the Boys and Girls Club of Wetaskiwin created this year’s Pink Shirt Day design.

Bookings for COVID-19 vaccines for people age 75 or older start Wednesday. (File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Updated: Delays for seniors booking for vaccine appointments

Phone lines were swamped and the Alberta Health Services website crashed on… Continue reading

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland and Foreign Affairs Minister Marc Garneau as they meet virtually with United States President Joe Biden from his office on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Tuesday February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Biden on China’s detention of two Michaels: ‘Human beings are not bartering chips’

But the White House offered no hints about how it might help secure their release

Meteor spotted over Edmonton, Alta., on Feb. 22, 2021 by several, who took to social media to share their surveillance camera captures. (@KixxAxe/Twitter)
VIDEO: Fireball meteor streaks across sky, spotted by early-morning risers in Alberta, B.C.

Videos of the quick streak of light flashing across the sky before 6:30 a.m. MST

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney makes his way to the chamber in Edmonton on Friday, March 20, 2020. Kenney says a recent bump in energy prices in the third quarter of the budget is helping the bottom line as his government prepares to introduce its 2021-22 budget. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Higher oil prices boosting Alberta’s bottom line as budget looms Thursday: Kenney

EDMONTON — Premier Jason Kenney says a recent bump in energy prices… Continue reading

Montreal Canadiens head coach Claude Julien gives instructions during practice in Brossard, Que., Tuesday, July 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
CP NewsAlert: Montreal Canadiens fire head coach Claude Julien

Assistant coach appointed interim head coach

(Photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)
NFB hiring new execs to lead anti-racist practices, forge ties with Indigenous groups

TORONTO — The National Film Board of Canada is creating two key… Continue reading

The cast of “Schitt’s Creek” pose for a photo after winning the Award for Best Comedy Series at the Canadian Screen Awards in Toronto on March 31, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
‘Schitt’s Creek’ earns third consecutive ensemble win at ACTRA Toronto Awards

Tamara Podemski won outstanding performance by a female on ‘Coroner’

NBA chooses All-Star reserves, with Zion among first-timers

NBA chooses All-Star reserves, with Zion among first-timers

FILE - In this March 9, 2020, file photo, New York Yankees' Clint Frazier runs to the dugout during a spring training baseball game in Clearwater, Fla. Brett Gardner's return to the Yankees won't displace Clint Frazier from taking over as New York's starting left fielder. Manager Aaron Boone said Saturday, Feb. 20, 2021, that the 26-year-old Frazier remained his first choice in left while cautioning developments during a season could alter intentions. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, File)
Yankees finalize deals for Brett Gardner, Justin Wilson

Yankees finalize deals for Brett Gardner, Justin Wilson

Jon Rahm tees off on the 10th hole in front of cardboard cutout fans during the first round of the Genesis Invitational golf tournament at Riviera Country Club, Thursday, Feb. 18, 2021, in the Pacific Palisades area of Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ryan Kang)
West Coast behind, more fans about to show up on PGA Tour

West Coast behind, more fans about to show up on PGA Tour

Most Read