Canadian women’s rugby sevens fall to France, but Olympic quarter-finals still possible – .

Canadian women’s rugby sevens fall to France, but Olympic quarter-finals still possible – .

Canada’s women’s rugby sevens path to another podium looks bleaker after a 31-0 loss to France in the group stage at Friday’s Olympic Games in Tokyo.
France (3-0) secured first place in Pool B, while Fiji (2-1) beat Brazil earlier and finished second. The top two teams from each of the three groups advance to the quarter-finals, with the last two places going to the remaining teams with the best records.

Canada (1-2) will have to wait until the end of the remaining group matches to see if they qualify for the quarter-finals.

France kicked off Canadian captain Ghislaine Landry to start the match, and retained offensive possession before a meteoric run from Séraphine Okemba opened the scoring for France. Jade Ulutule then converted to bring the score to 7-0.

The ensuing Canadian possession was cut short by a breakdown penalty, but France hit it soon after. France pinned the Canadians on their own try line after the scrum, but couldn’t capitalize.

An error on a line-up gave possession back to France, who took advantage of the melee on a sprint from Anne-Cécile Ciofani. The unconverted try brought the score to 12-0.

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An attempt by Elissa Alarie to take the away advantage was blocked by the French defense, which forced a line-up. The frenzied possessions that followed eventually resulted in a try for Ulutule, who converted to take the lead to 19-0 at halftime.

Critical turnover in the final group match

Canada received the ball early in the second half but struggled to break the French line. Landry eventually managed to pick up the ball from the bridge and sprint inside the French 22-meter line.

Canada then returned the ball a few yards from the try line on another break penalty.

Another turnaround, this time deep within the Canadian camp, gave France an offensive scrum that led to a Carla Neisen try in a skillful show-and-go move. Shannon Izar then converted to bring the score to 26-0.

Rollovers continued to be a problem for Canada, as France took advantage of an unconverted try from Chloé Jacquet for the final score.


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