Both the Men & Women’s Teams won gold this June at the Toronto Pan American Games! The path was a little smoother for the women as they thumped the U.S. 55-7 in their final, running the table after going down 7-0. Canada won six straight matches at the Games, outscoring its opposition 285-19 and running in 47 tries while yielding just three.
“Probably our best performance of the year,” coach John Tait said of the final.
Canada was the top-ranked team in the Games’ inaugural six-team women’s competition, finishing second in the Women’s Seven Series last season. The Americans were fifth and Brazil eighth.
For the women, it was a triumphant end to a magnificent season under Tait. They qualified for the 2016 Olympics by finishing second to New Zealand in the Women’s Sevens Series, were runner-up in the penultimate stop on the circuit in London and won the season finale in Amsterdam.
The U.S. Eagles were the top-ranked side in the eight-team men’s competition, finishing sixth in the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series this season, ahead of No. 8 Argentina, No. 9 Canada and No. 16 Brazil.
The Canadian men dodged a bullet in the quarter-finals in a 17-12 overtime win over underdog Chile before staving off the U.S. for a 26-19 victory in the semis.
“I think the boys really reflected the Canadian spirit,” said coach Liam Middleton, a native of Zimbabwe whose team got better as the year wore on. “They were courageous, tenacious. We were against the wall. And what we talked about after the Chile game was the type of adversity we were in, we were either going to crumble or we were going to catapult ourselves to the top. And we decided which way we were going to go.”
The Canadian Press
Round 1 Dubai 4-5 December 2015
Round 2 Cape Town (South Africa) 12-13 December 2015
Round 3 Wellington (New Zealand) 30-31 January 2016
Round 4 Sydney (Australia) 6-7 February 2016
Round 5 USA (Las Vegas) 4-6 March 2016
Round 6 CANADA (Vancouver) 12-13 March 2016
Round 7 Hong Kong 8-10 April 2016
Round 8 Singapore 16-17 April 2016
Round 9 Paris (France) 14-15 May 2015
Round 10 England (London) 21-22 May 2015