A historical moment at Wanderers Grounds as Rugby Canada wins

Rugby Canada wins memorable game against Wales at Wanderers Grounds

HALIFAX, NS – It was a historical moment for Nova Scotian Rugby at the Wanderers Grounds this weekend. This was the first-ever international senior women’s rugby game to ever take place on the Atlantic Canadian coast. It is also the last game before Rugby Canada starts playing in the Rugby World Cup in October.

Rugby Canada made history at Wanderers Grounds

In analyzing this most recent International fixture, Last Word on Rugby identifies many points of interest, with a focus on both sides’ performances, as well as positives to take out of the results from the Halifax HFX Wanderers Grounds home stadium.

Three Keys to the victory over Wales

Wales Rugby did not score a try

This was probably the most impressive thing from a Rugby Canada perspective. Yes, Wales scored the first three points of the game, but they did not convert a try. A big part of that was Canada’s ability to defend against Wales.

  • In the first half, Wales’ Lowri Norkett sliced past Canada’s backline. Rugby Canada forwards then stepped up though and made the Welsh turnover the ball
  • Canada dealt with the Welsh pressure well late in the game, including preventing a try in the 78-minute.

One could say that Wales did not take advantage of their opportunities since they committed a lot of penalties and at one time did not find the right spaces. That might be true, but credit must be given to Canada. They did not let the foot go off the gas and had a complete game against Wales defensively.

Rugby Canada did well to score on set-pieces

  • The power of Rugby Canada’s forwards. After a successful maul, Fabiola Forteza scored a try for Canada
  • A great try in the 43-minute, where Daleaka Menin passed it to Alexander Tessier. A pass then was delivered to Paige Farries, who scored for Canada
  • A great try was scored by Justine Pelletier after earning another set-piece.

It also has to be said that Canada put itself in a great position to score, whether that was by runs and/or by penalties committed by the Welsh players. It was their pressure that really made Wales struggle against them. For example, Karen Paquin made a fantastic run to create a scoring opportunity. This ended up being a try scored by Farries.

Canada replied back to the Welsh women’s teams’ strong start

After giving up the three points of the game, it was all Canada.

  • The first try started from a strong scrum, with Sophie de Goede stepping up. Miller then passed the ball to Farries, who scored the try
  • Some fantastic team passing by Canada resulted in a try to Maddy Grant.

This is what Rugby Canada head coach, Kevin Rouet, said about the game according to The Canadian Press“I think the first 10 minutes could have been worse. It was a bad 10 minutes, but they came back into the game slowly and were patient, built momentum and it was great to see that.”

Canada really put pressure on Wales, after the Welsh scored the first three points via a penalty (converted by Elinor Snowsill). It just shows that Rugby Canada has high ambitions heading into the 2021 Rugby World Cup. Also, unlike Rugby Canada’s win against Italy Rugby, it felt like a complete 80 minutes, where there were no big defensive mistakes in the game.

Rugby Canada gets a historical win at Wanderers Grounds

Canada’s game against Wales was the first-ever international senior women’s rugby union match on the Atlantic seaboard of Canada.  This is what Emma Taylor, a player brought up in Halifax, Nova Scotia said about the game according to the Canadian Press: “We started a little slow, but the crowd was amazing. When I ran onto the field, I could just hear people getting to their feet, so it was exciting for me personally.

“I think the girls were floored by the amount of support here. It was an awesome win, a really good team win.”

This was not the first senior rugby union game that the Wanderers Grounds hosted. Halifax also hosted Rugby Canada’s senior men’s team against Belgium earlier this year. They won 45-0 on that day, and according to the Canadian Press, had 4,412 fans attend the game.

Canadian women’s rugby; Where they are as a team in 2022

This was the second game, where Rugby Canada’s pressure forced the other team to concede lots of penalties. The other game was when Rugby Canada defeated the Australian Wallaroos in the Pacific Four Series. This is one of their greatest strengths and something they should look at exploiting.

The only loss in their last five games was Canada’s game against New Zealand (Black Ferns), one of the few teams that have a higher ranking than Rugby Canada. With all the other top-1o teams in those last five games, Canada was able to get the job done and win.

This is also the last Rugby Canada game before the 2021 Rugby World Cup begins. 2021 Rugby World Cup – Canada competes in Pool B, alongside the USA Eagles, Italy (who they have beaten), and Japan.

Canada start their campaign against Japan on October 9. They will then face Italy on October 16, before facing their fiercest rivals, the U.S.A Eagles on October 23. Of course, the exact broadcast times might vary, depending on where a supporter lives/which part of Canada one lives in, as there is a big timezone difference between Canada and New Zealand [in the Southern hemisphere].

What is clear is that the build-up for these women has proved to be thoroughly successful for Canadian women’s rugby. And it is all in front of them, to make the most of their opportunities in the World Championship tournament.


Photo Credit: Rugby Canada twitter account; August 27, 2022.