Rugby Canada wins despite shaky start to defeat the Australian Wallaroos

Rugby Canada player Sophie De Goede wins player of the match against USA Rugby on June 6, 2022

Whangārei, NZ – Rugby Canada wins against the Australian Wallaroos on June 17 in Canada (June 18 in New Zealand). It was their second Pacific Series win and as a result, finished second in the competition.

Rugby Canada wins despite giving the first 10 points in the game

Three keys to the game

Rugby Canada had relentless pressure including the second half

Rugby Australia had the better start to the game. They also played well defensively, preventing Canada from scoring a try. This is why the try by Emily Tuttosi was very important. It came from a maul as she broke through Australia’s defence. Also, Rugby Canada captain Du Toit’s kick conversion was fantastic (video shown by World Rugby). Then in the second half, Rugby Canada took over:

  • Justine Pelletier’s heads-up play and speed gave Canada’s first try of the second half.
  • Alex Ellis’s try in the 78-minute came from relentless pressure from Rugby Canada.

To Australia’s credit, their defence played well. However, Rugby Canada’s offence was just too much for them. At times, Australia was forced to defend over 20 phases of attack from Rugby Canada. As a result, Canada was able to break through in the second half.

Australia did not generate much offence in the second half

Australia had a solid start and was actually putting Rugby Canada on the backfoot early in the game. However, as the game went along, they were not able to generate much offence. There were some sparks, but overall not much offence was generated. Some of the few times they looked threatening were:

  • Australia’s lineout was intercepted by Rugby Canada’s defence in the 60-minute.
  • Grace Kemp made a great run in the 69-minute but was unable to convert on the scoring chance.

After the positive start, Australia had trouble generating much offence, as Rugby Canada got better as the game went on. It also did not help that Australia was a player down for the last nine minutes of the game.

The Australian Wallaroos gave up too many penalties

The Australia Wallaroos said this about the game against Rugby Canada on Friday:

“I think in the second half, we gave too many penalties, and Canada is a quality team, and they made us pay today.”

The Australian Wallaroos penalties accumulated over the course of the game against Rugby Canada, which included the second half. Credit, however, must be given to Canada though for making the game harder for Australia. Here are two examples, where the penalties lead to points scored for Rugby Canada:

  • Sophie de Goede converts a penalty for Rugby Canada in the 63-minute.
  • Wallaroos’ Madison Schuck got a yellow card in the 71-minute. This eventually resulted in another try for Rugby Canada.

Madison Schuck was not the reason for Australia being a woman down. It was all the fouls that occurred before then, a big part of that was Canada’s offence. However, there is also a need for discipline. The referee talked to the Australia team for the 22-minute after they committed five fouls. It was a warning that a yellow card could come if they continue taking penalties. The only thing that was surprising was how long it took before Australia got a yellow card.

Game Summary

This is what Rugby Canada captain and player of the match, de Geode said about the game::

“Massive credit to Australia.” de Geode said. “They came out swinging and they definitely threw the first punch, but I am happy with how we responded to that. And the try just before the half was really big for us. We executed pretty down the stretch and stayed calm under pressure, which is something we have been working on a lot. So I am really happy with how we finished it off.”

To Rugby Canada’s credit, the few times the Wallaroos applied pressure in the second half, Canada responded. An example was Justine Pelletier forcing a turnover in the 53-minute that gave the ball back to Rugby Canada. She is also right about the game as a whole. Australia came out blazing, but that late first-half try by Emily Tuttosi change the momentum of the game.  Later on, she also said that they were better with collisions against Australia than New Zealand, but that there is still room for improvement.

Pacific Four Series Results

Congrats to the hosts, New Zealand, who were the Pacific Four Series winners. They won all three games against the Wallaroos, USA Rugby, and Rugby Canada. They secured the title with a dominant 50-6 win over USA Rugby. It was a dominant tournament for the Black Ferns, as they earned all three wins and also was the only team to get three bonus points as they scored more than four tries in all three of those games. This included a comfortable 28-0 win over Rugby Canada, where the Black Ferns dominated most of the game.

Rugby Canada finished second with two wins, one loss and a bonus point earned. This is while USA Rugby finished third with one win and two losses and the Wallaroos finished with no wins and three losses. Regardless of the result, these games are very important heading into the Rugby Women’s World Cup this year in New Zealand. For example, this is what the Rugby Canada captain said about the tournament and on trying new combos and looking ahead to the Rugby Women’s World Cup:

“It’s massive, I think I said last week maybe, but this Pac Four Tournament is huge for us to be able to get some experience, not only playing New Zealand but also facing quality sides that we do not get to see very often. So, yeah opportunities to try some combos, and just get together and play some games.”

There will be some women’s rugby union before the World Cup kicks off according to Rugby Canada. Rugby Canada will play two games at home. The first one will be against the Italians on July 24 in Langford, British Columbia at Starlight Stadium. They will then have an August 27 test match against Wales at Wanderers Grounds in Halifax, Nova Scotia.


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