Rugby Canada Finishes First in Pool B With a 29-14 Victory

Rugby Canada’s Ashley Corrigan With the Ball as Rugby Canada Finishes First Place in Pool B in Auckland, New Zealand

Auckland, NZ – Rugby Canada finishes first in Pool B with a 29-14 victory at Waitakere Stadium in the 2021 Rugby World Cup. It was also a victory against their rivals, USA Rugby, who share rivalries in not just rugby union, but in other sports as well like ice hockey, lacrosse, and soccer.

Rugby Canada Finishes First in Pool B as They Defeat Rivals, USA Rugby, 29-14

Three Keys to the Game

Rugby Canada’s Speed Was Too Much for USA Rugby To Handle

This was a big problem for USA Rugby to deal with, especially in the first half.

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When looking at the first half, Rugby Canada had 403 carry metres while USA Rugby only had 148 carry metres. This played a big role in Rugby Canada winning the game. This is what Brian Spanton from TSN said about the first half for metres:

“88 metres for Alysha Corrigan who is in at the centres, 55 for Paige Farries, 48 for Elissa Alarie, pretty impressive numbers.”

Magali Harvey, Rugby Canada legend, and also TSN commentator said this about the statistic:

“That is so impressive, but not only is it impressive, but that is also amazing as it puts the defence going backwards and backwards for the American side, which really helps the momentum for the Canadians who have been moving it so well today, it has been such an exciting rugby to watch.”

This is true as it felt like the U.S. had to keep going back to keep pace with Rugby Canada’s speed and it resulted in tries for Rugby Canada.

Alysha Corrigan made a big run in the 26-minute, which resulted in a scoring opportunity that Rugby Canada did not take advantage of.

In the 34-minute, USA Rugby made a mistake and Corrigan came in with the run.

Also, in the second half, Sophie de Goede made a good run, which allowed their fourth try to be scored. She also played a role in the first try, being in a great position to draw the penalty for her team. What seemed to happen was USA Rugby had trouble dealing with Rugby Canada’s speed as USA Rugby would commit a foul and/or would commit an offside.

USA Rugby Did Not Do Well With the Lineouts in the First Half

There were two instances where USA Rugby could have changed the game in the first half. However, they were not effective in this regard.

  • Joanna Kitlinski lineout pass was intercepted.
  • Kitlinski made another mistake with their lineout pass in the 32-minute.

In reverse, Rugby Canada did better with the lineouts. This was especially true in the first half, where Canada did not make any mistakes with their lineouts. These mistakes were costly for the U.S., which did not use them to its advantage. Then with Canada’s speed, they would quickly eliminate USA Rugby’s scoring chances.

Rugby Canada Excelled With Their Mauls

The mauls were the source for two of Rugby Canada’s five tries.

  • Emily Tuttosi’s opening try meant it was her sixth try in the Rugby World Cup.
  • Olivia DeMerchant’s try in the 60-minute. It was her first try at the Rugby World Cup.

As said by the TSN commentators, mauls are a speciality for Rugby Canada. An example of that was Canada’s win over the Australian Wallaroos in the Pacific Four Series.

Other Factors

As good as Rugby Canada was in the first half, they were not sharp in the second half. USA Rugby was the better team as they applied the pressure early and it resulted in them scoring the first try of the second half. Also, Canada did a good job on defence, but there were some mistakes. As said by TSN, the first two tries they gave up happened because of missed tackles. This resulted in a try scored by Alev Walter.

Also, there was a play in the second half where Alex Tessier was obstructed by Evelyn Ashenbrucker. Looking at the replay, the decision was correct as it looked like the USA player obstructed Tessier.

Also, Corrigan, the Player of the Match, had 10 carries, 108 carry metres, three linebreaks, and eight tackles. This is what Corrigan said about the game as she was the Player of the Match on TSN:

“I am very overwhelmed right now, you know first game for the World Cup for me, so it is a pretty good game and it is always a pretty good game against the States, you know they brought out, I don’t know how much we spent defence on our 22, so you know, it was a good game.”

READ MORE: Rugby Canada 2021 RWC Profile: What are the Expectations?

Both Teams Will Face Each Other Again Next Saturday

Both Rugby Canada and USA Rugby will face each other again next Saturday. A big reason for this was Canada winning the bonus point in each of their three matches, which allowed them to avoid a team like Australia. Also, USA Rugby lost its opening game in New Zealand against Italia Rugby.

This game will take place in Auckland, New Zealand at Waitakere Stadium. It will kick off at 11:30 p.m. ET on Saturday. That game will be televised nationally on TSN. Rugby Canada finishes first in Pool B and will be seen as the favourites, however, USA Rugby is capable of pulling an upset next Saturday against their rivals.


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