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Canada book place in Vancouver semis with ‘special’ win over rivals USA

By Finn Morton
Canada are through to SVNS Vancouver are a two-point win over the USA. Picture: World Rugby.

To the delight of the roaring Vancouver crowd at BC Place Stadium, Canada has overcome a slow start at their home event to book their place in a blockbuster semi-final on Sunday.

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The Canada women’s sevens side started their campaign with a 12-point loss to France on Day One but bounced back with a 38-nil demolition of Great Britain.

Canada played Spain in their third and final pool game on Day Two, and after winning that contest, were due to come up against fierce rivals the USA in a mammoth quarter-final.

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With thousands of fans at the Vancouver venue spurring the Canadians on, tries to Florence Symonds and Krissy Scurfield saw the hosts race out to a 12-nil half-time lead.

Speedster Ariana Ramsey almost stole it from the Canadians with a rapid second-half double but a missed conversion at the death meant the home side snuck by with a two-point victory.

“It’s probably similar to your ANZAC rivalry, right? It’s the battle of the North Americas,” Canada’s Sophie de Goede told RugbyPass.

“For us, for rugby, both the US and Canada are trying to prove that we deserve to belong on the world stage but the place to prove it first is on home court and I think we did that today in Vancouver.

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“It’s pretty special.

“It’s just a testament to who we are as Canadian people,” she added.

“We are humble people… we’re pretty proud when it comes to representing our country and a lot of other nations around the globe don’t get to see that so it’s pretty special when we get to show it in front of everyone.”

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De Goede, 24, was a big-name inclusion for Canada ahead of their home event.

Amongst her achievements, de Goede was nominated for World Rugby’s 15s Player of the Year award in 2022. De Geode captained Canada at the last Rugby World Cup and plays club rugby for English side Saracens.

But wanting to contribute to the growth of rugby in Canada “in as many ways as possible,” de Goede has returned to the SVNS Series.

“It’s growing massively. I think we’re moving in a really strong direction with the cooperation between our fifteens and our sevens teams across both men’s and women’s sides,” she said.

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“I think if you ask pretty much anyone on our team, our ultimate goal is to grow the game of rugby in Canada and I think we’re making positive steps in that direction.”

In a blockbuster semi-final clash, Canada will play defending series champions New Zealand just after midday (local time) on Sunday.

SVNS Cape Town finalists France and Australia will meet in the other women’s semi-final.

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