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photo credit: Oisin Keniry / INPHO / World Rugby

Canada breaks records in World Cup opener

Canada signaled their intent with a record-setting 98-0 win over Hong Kong to start their 2017 Women’s Rugby World Cup campaign in style. It was the most points a Canadian team has scored in a test, falling just one conversion shy of a century. A total of 16 tries including a hat-trick for captain Kelly Russell and five for Magali Harvey. The flying winger would finish with an incredible 41 point haul on the day all told.

Hong Kong were simply overwhelmed by a rampant Canadian side who had too much power and seemingly endless passing options at every line break. Andrea Burk was the first on the scoreboard, adding a second before earning an early rest at halftime. Elissa Alarie bagged a double as did Burk’s replacement Amanda Thornborough, with singles going to Alex Tessier and Brittany Waters. Brianna Miller added one conversion to round out the scoring.

There was nowhere to turn for relief from the red wave. The Canadian scrum was like a stream roller on either team’s put-in, denying Hong Kong any clean possession from the set piece. They did manage to cause Canada some problems at the breakdown, but then much of Canada’s strategy revolved around avoiding the ruck altogether with offloads to support players coming from all angles.

With that not only have Canada secured the bonus point but a very healthy points differential which puts them in a very strong position heading into their second game. If they can come away with a bonus point win over Wales on Sunday it will take a major effort to keep them out of the semi-finals, regardless of the result against New Zealand in the pool finale. A good start indeed for a team that looks very much in Cup contention after Round One.



Tries – A. Burk 2 (4’, 37’), E. Alarie 2 (10’, 41’), M. Harvey 5 (12’, 25’, 40’, 58’, 80’), K. Russell 3 (21’, 32’, 72’), A. Thornborough 2 (45’, 79’), A. Tessier (48’), B. Waters (60’)
Cons – M. Harvey 8 (11’, 13’, 33’, 42’, 59’, 61’, 73’, 79’), B. Miller (49’)
Yellow cards – O. DeMerchant (54’)

Yellow cards – K. Chong (51’)



1 Carolyn McEwen (17 Brittany Kassil 47’), 2 Laura Russell (16 Jane Kirby 47’), 3 DaLeaka Menin (18 Olivia DeMerchant 47’), 4 Kayla Mack, 5 Latoya Blackwood (19 Tyson Beukeboom 46’), 6 Jacey Grusnick (3 DaLeaka Menin 63’-65’), 7 Karen Paquin (20 Cindy Nelles 50’), 8 Kelly Russell (capt.), 9 Lori Josephson (21 Brianna Miller 46’), 10 Emily Belchos, 11 Frédérique Rajotte (23 Brittany Waters 52’), 12 Andrea Burk (22 Amanda Thornborough HT), 13 Alex Tessier, 14 Magali Harvey, 15 Elissa Alarie

1 Yuen Shan Wong (18 Wai Yan Pun 61’), 2 Karen So (16 Winnie Siu 69’), 3 Ka Shun Lee (17 Nga Wun Lau 50’), 4 Mei Nam Chow (capt.), 5 Ka Yan Chan (19 Christine Gordon 50’), 6 Christy Cheng, 7 Tsz Ching Chan, 8 Amelie Seure, 9 Jessica Ho (21 Ho Yee Mak 50’), 10 Rose Hopewell-Fong, 11 Ka Yan Chong (20 Sin Yan Tsang 78’), 12 Natasha Olson-Thorne, 13 Adrienne Garvey (22 Kelsie Bouttle 53’), 14 Pak Yan Poon (23 Laurel Chor HT), 15 Colleen Tjosvold



Referee: Joy Neville (IRFU)
Assistants: Claire Hodnett (RFU) & Beatrice Benvenuti (ITA)
TMO: Kevin Beggs (IRFU)


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Formally created in June 2015, this website’s goal is to increase media exposure of the Tier 2 rugby nations, and create a hub with a focus on the stories of rugby in the Americas – North, Central and South.

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