The renewed Canadian team kicked off the Rugby Sevens World Series season in Dubai on Friday. The Maple Leaf players lost their first game to Fiji before a 21-17 victory over the Irish.
Launched under the scorching sun in the United Arab Emirates, the tournament will feature Quebecs Eliza Allari, Pomfinet Buisa and Sabrina Pauline in Canadian colors. This is the first time the world has competed since the Tokyo Olympics.
Just three minutes into the game, the Irish opened the scoring thanks to an attempt by Baibin Parsons.
Pomfinet Busa then took advantage of an error in the opposing camp and drew level. She recovered a ball that had fallen a few meters away from the pay zone to score for her team. Brian Nicholas led the Canadians 7-5.
A few minutes later, Nicholas hit the ball just behind the Irish defense, allowing teammate Renee Gonzalez to infiltrate and extend the lead to 14-5 before half-time.
As soon as they returned to play, Irish woman Eve Higgins grabbed the kickoff and escaped to the left to bring the ball back into the end zone.
Canadians did not waste time responding. They went across the field and the attacking streak ended in a very Quebec game. Busa passed the ball to Eliza Allardy, who quickly changed direction to defeat the vigilance of the last opponent out of her way. Canada’s 21-10 lead after Brian Nichols’ goal.
The Irish team made an attempt in the final match of the match but to no avail.
“It went well and the team moved the ball well. Personally, I’m happy to see that I’m comfortable on the pitch, ”said Eliza Allari, who returned from a rugby union tournament last week.
Interim head coach Jack Hantrati’s squad lost their first match on Friday, 28-26, at the expense of Tokyo Olympics bronze medalist Fiji. With just over a minute left in the game, Lysana Likuseva kicked off and Allari scored a try before giving the Fijians the lead.
“Losing is never fun, but we are proud of our performance. The players in Fiji really improved during the outbreak. We want to build it because we are a very young team, ”Alari said.
Canadian athletes not only start the World Series season in Dubai, but also launch a new Olympic cycle ahead of the Paris Games.
Recall that head coach John Tait resigned in the spring after athletes denounced the Canadian Federation.
Jack Hantrati was recently selected as the head of the national team, and in the opinion of Eliza Allari, his vision inspired the entire group.
“The culture he brings is that everyone should contribute with an ex-factor and go there on their own. We don’t have a big structure on the field right now, we’re completely independent, but it’s interesting to see the energy that the youngsters add to the team, ”said Trifluwin, who was delighted to see these changes.
“Instead of relying on a particular style of play that puts us more in a box, the real thing is to work with each other’s forces. It’s exciting, and we start to get to know each other better on the pitch. ”
The Canadians finish preliminary matches with clashes against the British and Russians on Saturday. Classification competitions will be held after these games.
“Two big games, but we will continue to do what we did today (Friday). Countries do not know what to expect because we cannot predict. The offense is really strong and if the defense can fix the little things, we have a good chance, ”Alari concluded.
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