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'Canadian icon' Tyson Beukeboom reflects on historic Black Ferns win

CHRISTCHURCH, NEW ZEALAND - MAY 19: Tyson Beukeboom of Canada holds the winners trophy alongside teammates after winning the 2024 Pacific Four Series following winning their match between New Zealand Black Ferns and Canada at Apollo Projects Stadium on May 19, 2024 in Christchurch, New Zealand. (Photo by Joe Allison - World Rugby/World Rugby via Getty Images)

As milestones go, it could not have been much sweeter for Tyson Beukeboom who celebrated becoming Canada’s most-capped female player by helping her country to a historic victory against New Zealand.

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Sunday’s match against the Black Ferns in Christchurch was Beukeboom’s 68th Test in the famous red and white jersey, moving her one appearance ahead of Gillian Florence on the all-time list.

The second row played the full 80 minutes as Canada broke their drought against the Black Ferns with a 22-19 win, and in doing so became World Rugby Pacific Four Series 2024 champions in front of around 5,000 fans at Apollo Projects Stadium.

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Beukeboom said it was difficult to articulate what the victory meant for her and her team immediately after the match.

“I still don’t have words for it, it hasn’t sunk in yet. We’ve hit so many milestones and it’s just so exciting to be able to say that and, honestly, we knew we could do it,” she explained.

“We just had to go out on the field and put the game down and we did. I think proud is probably the best word at the moment – it was so much fun to be out there.”

Fixture
Pacific Four Series
New Zealand Women's
19 - 22
Full-time
Canada Women's
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Heading into Sunday’s match, the closest Canada had ever come to defeating the Black Ferns was a 16-8 loss in 2014, the only time New Zealand had failed to score 20 points against them.

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Captain Sophie de Goede admitted the win held even more meaning because it was achieved on the night of Beukeboom’s milestone.

“It’s really special to achieve something that’s history for the first time,” she said.

“I thought we did a really good job of not thinking too much about the history that we could create, but just thinking about the present moment and what the next play was.

“A huge shout out to Tyson for creating history alongside this historical win. I’m really proud of her, she’s been an icon of Canadian women’s rugby and will continue to be one.”

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The win lifts Canada to second in the World Rugby Women’s Rankings, equalling their highest ever position, and sees New Zealand slip to third – their lowest position since the rankings were introduced in 2016.

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It wasn’t the first historic win that Beukeboom has been a part of. In fact, she began her international career for Canada with another maiden victory, winning 29-25 against England’s Red Roses in Denver in 2013.

Since then, she’s witnessed the team flourish and develop a unique style under head coach Kevin Rouet.

“I think it’s mostly been an upward trajectory, especially with Kev coming in,” Beukeboom said.

“He really just gave us the freedom to express ourselves and really develop our style that we already had as Canadians, as being fast and moving the ball quickly and being really dynamic.

“He’s just given us a platform to expand on that and have fun and I think that came through tonight.”

With a home WXV 1 tournament next on the agenda in British Columbia from September to October and just 15 months to go until Women’s Rugby World Cup 2025 in England, which would be her fourth, Beukeboom said the belief in the team is at an all-time high.

She added: “I would honestly say that we’ve gone into every World Cup saying and thinking that we have the ability to get to that final.

“Obviously, some have worked out better than others, but I think we always believe in ourselves and sometimes it’s everyone around us that might not see it.

“We’re planning to build from this, game to game. We plan to win, we want to win, we want to be number one in the world. I want to be number one in the world and that’s our goal.”

At 33 years old, Beukeboom has no plans for retirement just yet and is hoping to aid more development of the women’s game in Canada before she hangs up her boots.

“We’d love to see a professional league in Canada. I think we’ve proven that we can,” she said.

“Right now we have to go elsewhere in the world, but I think we deserve a domestic league and I think that if we had that and we got to spend so much more time together, the world is our oyster as cheesy as that is.

“Imagine what we could do if we were fully professional and together so much more than we already are?

“I think that we would be a powerhouse team, more so than we already are. So, getting that domestically would be the goal.”

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2 Comments
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matt 29 days ago

Sophie De Goede is one of the best players we’ve ever produced. Kicked all the points, 2 try assists, line out takes, carries, tackles, charge downs… what a player

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