2022 Rugby Canada women’s team review: The nation made proud

Rugby Canada women's team player, Sophie de Goede, runs the ball forward against New Zealand at the Waikatere Trusts Stadium

Rugby Canada women’s team has shown the world why they are a top four-nation. They do not get fazed by being down in a game and can get results when it is needed. They are right now, the face of Rugby Canada and for a good reason.

They did not earn a medal, but Rugby Canada has shown that they can compete with England and be able to beat opponents and come from behind against teams not named England, France, and New Zealand.

The 2022 Rugby Canada women’s team is the face of Rugby Canada

Player of the Year – Sophie de Goede

There were other players considered like Emily Tuttosi and Paige Farries. However, it is Sophie de Goede that deserves to be given the title of Rugby Canada women’s player of the year. A big part of that was de Goede’s performance in the Pacific Four Series, earning her the Player of the Match in both of Canada’s wins.

She is an all-around player that can affect games in many different ways. For example, in the first of two games against USA Rugby in the 2021 Rugby World Cup, de Goede played a role in scoring two of the four tries. She also excelled in her kicking game, being near perfect in that regard in important games like against England.

An honourable mention for Rugby Canada women’s player of the year is Emily Tuttosi. Tuttosi scored a try that changed the game in the Pacific Four Series game against Australia. She also scored six tries in the 2021 Rugby World Cup, including scoring three tries against Japan Rugby.

Rugby Canada Strengths

The ability to come back from behind

This is a character trait that cannot be taught. There are many instances when Rugby Canada achieved this. One was coming back from behind against Australia in the Pacific Four Series and also in a friendly against Italy.

In particular, when focusing on the game against Australia, Canada fell behind 10-0 early on and they trailed for most of the half. However, after a maul in the 39-minute, Canada was able to cut the lead to 10-7 just to end the first half thanks to a try scored by Tuttosi. Canada would then score 15 more points to earn an impressive 22-10 win over Rugby Australia. Australia is a very high-ranked team, which makes the win even more impressive.

Mauls and speed

Mauls was one area of the field where Rugby Canada excelled. A player who excelled in that position was Tuttosi. It played a big role in Canada getting back into the game against Australia in the Pacific Four Series. The maul success was also there to see in the 2021 Rugby World Cup like the Italia Rugby game. Tuttosi generally was the one who scored tries from those mauls.

The speed of Rugby Canada was clearly visible this year. For example, in a friendly game against Italy, Paige Farries got past the Italians with her agility and speed to score a try after giving up the first five points of the game in the Rugby World Cup. Their speed was also evident with some of their tries scored against England Rugby in the 2021 Rugby World Cup. For example, Justine Pelletier’s kick to the England try-line. It was a great kick, but it also required Karen Paquin to outrun the English defence, and that is what she did to score the try.

Weaknesses of national women’s team

When facing England and France in the Rugby World Cup or New Zealand in the Pacific Four Series, Canada was not able to throw the first punch in either of those three games. They could not get the first points against the top three sides in World Rugby.

As a result of the poor preparations and learnings in the Pacific Four Series games, against New Zealand or in the third-place loss to France in the 2021 Rugby World Cup, both teams would run away with the game.

The game against England Rugby could have changed the result of that Rugby World Cup semi-final game. England scored the first 12 points of the game and only ended up winning by seven points. This is something Rugby Canada should look at improving on.

Rugby Canada women’s team made some uncharacteristic errors

Rugby Canada women’s team also made some unfortunate errors sometimes. This can be seen in a friendly against Italia Rugby. In that 34-24 victory, Canada made two big mistakes. One was not having a set defence, which resulted in Italy’s first try. The third try came off a turnover.

Then, with the exciting game against England Rugby, Canada made mistakes with their lineouts in the second half, which could have changed the course of the game. Canada played admiringly in these games, but even great teams have weaknesses.

Games of the Year – The two wins over USA Rugby in the 2021 Rugby World Cup

If anyone understands the rivalry that exists between Canada and the U.S. in several sports, women’s rugby union is no different. When looking at the Pool A Rugby World Cup game against USA Rugby, Canada used their speed to trouble the U.S. Canada ran 403 metres compared to the U.S.’s 148 metres. As a result, the U.S. had to track back a lot in the first half.

Also, once again, the mauls played a big part in their win. Then in the Rugby World Cup quarterfinals, Canada was able to break the game open in the second half. The first half ended with a slim 12-8 lead. However, Paige Farries was able to use her speed and agility to get past the USA Rugby defence and score within the first minute of the second half. Canada would then take over the second half and end up winning the game 32-11.

This is what Rugby Canada head coach, Kevin Rouet said about the game, showing the faith he has in the team according to the Canadian Press:

“The first half was balanced but after that, we showed we were better than the U.S.A.,” said Canadian coach Kevin Rouet.

Rugby Canada Women’s Team Overview

Last Word on Rugby Grade: B

READ MORE: The Toronto Arrows 2022 Season: Improvements for Next Season

This is what Rugby Canada player Sophie de Goede said about the sacrifices needed to try and compete with the big three teams in the world according to The Good, The Bad & The Rugby:

“I think just seeing the sacrifices that each of our teammates had to go through to be there and to show up and in the end, everyone showed up and it was an optional thing because we know the jobs that um they have that they hold that like the financial sacrifice that it takes to take three weeks off.”

The Rugby Canada women’s team proved why they are one of the top four-ranked teams in the world. They defeated top-10 ranked teams like Wales and Australia and also beat USA Rugby three times and Italia Rugby two times.

It is no exaggeration to say that the Rugby Canada women’s team is the face of Rugby Canada. They are a top-10 side and are probably the best amateur team in the world.


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