Rugby Canada gets hard-fought win over Italy at Starlight Stadium

Rugby Canada gets a hard-earned win over Italy Rugby on July 24, 2022
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LANGFORD, BC – Rugby Canada gets a hard-fought win in a friendly against Italy Rugby in this World Rugby sanctioned game. It was a tough affair though as Italy tied the game late in the first half and made it difficult for Canada throughout the game.

Rugby Canada gets a hard-fought win in Langford, British Columbia

Three keys to the game

Rugby Canada had an excellent second half

Italy scored their second try of the game to tie the game late in the first half. It looked like momentum was in Italy’s favour, but in the second half, that was not the case.

  • This included the 49-minute when Sophie De Goede made a fantastic turnaround to score her team’s second try of the half.
  • Sabrina Poulin made a terrific run in the 64-minute to put themselves in a good position to score.

Also, when Italy scored their second try of the game, they were just behind by seven points. De Goede made sure that did not happen as she converted on a penalty kick that solidified Canada’s win over Italy.

Rugby Canada did well with set-pieces

Set-pieces were Rugby Canada’s specialty in Sunday’s game against Italy Rugby.

  • In the 44-minute, Emily Tuttosi scored a try from a lineout.
  • Sophie De Goede scored a terrific individual try as she found a way to score as Brianna Miller converted the kick. On the play before on the scrum, Rugby Canada caught Italy Rugby offside.

They also scored another via a scrum as Paige Farries scored her second try as were the better team most of the game. They applied most of the pressure in the game and had the majority of the possession.

Italy Rugby made some turnovers

Italy Rugby was responsible for some of their own undoing. They had trouble passing the ball as some of their passes were intercepted and/or not delivered correctly.

  • A sloppy offload in the 41-minute.
  • A ball that was intercepted by Rugby Canada’s Sara Kalijuva. This resulted in Canada scoring a try in the 49-minute.

They also made some uncharacteristic turnovers in the first half, but Rugby Canada was not able to capitalize. It is something they can work on as they were in the game until late into the second half.

Other Factors

There are also some things Rugby Canada can clean up. In particular, the first and third Italy Rugby tries should not have happened. The first Italian try scored happened straight after Canada scored their first try. It seemed Rugby Canada’s defence was not set, which allowed Italy to score that try. As a result, Vitoria Ostuni Minuzzi broke through Canada’s defence and scored a try as captain Giordano passed her the ball.

The third try given up came from a Rugby Canada turnover from a lineout. It was quite unusual as Canada looked sharp with set-pieces all game long. This resulted in a try scored by Elisa Giordano. Canada, like Italy, made some uncharacteristic turnovers, especially in the first half. The second try was scored just before the second half. The try was set up by Beatrice Rigoni. Fabiola Forteza then made a heads-up pass to Vitoria Ostuni Minuzzi.

These mistakes might cost Rugby Canada a medal in the 2021 Rugby World Cup, as they face elite teams like England, France, and New Zealand. Those three teams will likely come Rugby Canada’s way if they advance far in the 2021 Rugby World Cup.

Game Summary: Rugby Canada gets a hard-earned 34-24 win in Langford. BC

Credit should also be given to the crowd. This is what Sophie De Goede said about the game when interviewed by Robert Rees of TSN:

“There were a lot of different momentum shifts while the game was going on and having the crowd behind us whenever that happens was massive.”

She also felt happy when asked about playing in front of family and friends as Goede grew up in Victoria:

“It was absolutely amazing, seeing my family up there, seeing them cheer.”

De Goede really played well today, scoring a try, converting a penalty conversion, and also delivering a terrific assist to Sara Kalijuvee to take the lead. It was a good performance by Rugby Canada, but they will need to keep improving ahead of the 2021 Rugby World Cup. Still, it was a good test as Rugby Canada and Italy are ranked in the top 10 of women’s rugby union.

Rugby Canada has one more game in the summer at Wanderers Grounds in Halifax, Nova Scotia against Wales. That game will take place on August 27 in Nova Scotia’s capital locally at 5:00 p.m. ADT. This is while the game will be shown at 4:00 p.m. ET and in Wales at 9:00 p.m.


Photo Credit: Rugby Canada on July 24, 2022.