Canadian women finish fourth at Dubai rugby tournament

The Canadian Press

11/29/2013 4:22:35 PM

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates -- A short-handed Canadian squad finished fourth at the Women's Sevens World Series in Dubai rugby tournament with 15-10 loss to Russia on Friday.

The Canadians -- missing captain Ghislaine Landry as wekk as Jen Kish and Mandy Marchak to injuries -- defeated Spain 17-12 in overtime to open the day before falling 19-5 to New Zealand in the semifinals. The loss set up a third-place match against the Russians.

Bianca Farella and Karen Paquin scored versus Russia and the Canadians looked poised for a victory before Baizat Khamidova dove over the try line in the dying minutes to give Russia the win.

"Russia are the fastest team in the series and can score from any line break they get, from anywhere," said Canadian coach John Tait. "We had the majority of the possession but didn't turn that into points often enough."

Australia beat New Zealand 35-27 in the final to take the first event of the series.

Farella, Ashley Steacy and Kayla Moleschi scored in Canada's win over Spain, the first time these two teams had played each other in women's sevens.

"Spain is always a tough game, we lost our captain through concussion from the day before so Ashley Steacy stepped up and really led from the front on day two," Tait said. "We battled hard and it was a huge team effort and invaluable experience especially for our younger girls to play in a sudden death extra-time game."

Steacy scored Canada's lone try against New Zealand's Black Ferns.

"I was proud that our girls didn't back down to them. . .," Tait said. "We will beat them it is only a matter of time, the belief is there, now we must bring the execution to make it a reality."

The Canadians earned 14 Women's Sevens World Series points in Dubai, which Tait said still leaves them in the race for the overall title in May.