Women's Rugby World Cup: Canada 15-0 Wales

By Dafydd PritchardBBC Wales Sport
Amy Evans and Rachel Taylor of Wales tackle Canada's Lori Josephson
Amy Evans of Wales tackles Canada's Lori Josephson
Canada v Wales
Canada (7) 15
Tries: Josephson, Harvey Con: Harvey Pen: Harvey
Wales (0) 0

Wales' hopes of reaching the Women's Rugby World Cup semi-finals are over after losing to Canada.

Canada edged a fiercely competitive first half thanks to Lori Josephson's sniping finish.

The 2014 runners-up were made to toil by their dogged opponents but secured victory with Magali Harvey's late penalty and try.

A second defeat from two pool matches means Wales now aim for the play-offs to decide fifth to eighth places.

They will need a large margin of victory against Hong Kong on Thursday to have a chance of doing so, while Canada will face New Zealand in the Pool A decider for a place in the last four.

Wales fall short

After their opening defeat against four-time champions New Zealand, Wales had to beat Canada to preserve their slim hopes of qualifying for the semi-finals.

They were much improved from that loss to the Black Ferns, particularly in defence where their tackling was powerful and their line speed consistently stifling Canada's attacks.

However, Rowland Phillips' side lacked a cutting edge in possession, failing to convert pressure into points.

A combination of handling errors and robust Canadian defending was their undoing and, while they will be encouraged by the way they competed with a quality side, Wales will ultimately view this game as a missed opportunity to claim a notable scalp.

Canada made to toil

Ranked third in the world and losing finalists against England in the last World Cup, Canada were expected to win convincingly against Wales.

They had laid down a marker with their 98-0 opening triumph over Hong Kong, but encountered far stronger resistance in the form of Phillips' fired-up charges.

Wales' abrasive and structured defence made life difficult for Canada, who had to graft for their scoring opportunities.

They eventually created an opening when captain and number eight Kelly Russell tapped a penalty and led a rapid counter-attack from her own 22 to Wales'.

Scrum-half Josephson applied the finish touch, picking up from the base of the ruck and darting over the line.

Wales' bloody-minded defending continued to thwart Canada in the second half, but Harvey's penalty put the result beyond doubt before she touched down in the corner with the final play of the game.

'Wales' immense defensive shift'

Wales captain Carys Phillips told BBC Wales Sport: "The effort the girls put in was outstanding, especially in defence. We defended a lot of phases in that game.

"On the flipside, we did have our opportunities as well to take points, but a few things didn't go our way.

"I can't fault the girls' effort, from the first minute to the 80th. The defensive shift we put in was absolutely immense.

"That's against the third [ranked team] in the world, and we competed for 80 minutes."

Wales: Dyddgu Hywel (Scarlets); Elen Evans (RGC), Gemma Rowland (Dragons), Hannah Jones (Scarlets), Jess Kavanagh-Williams (Scarlets); Elinor Snowsill (Dragons), Sian Moore (Dragons); Caryl Thomas (Scarlets) Carys Phillips, (Ospreys, capt), Amy Evans (Ospreys), Rebecca Rowe (Dragons), Mel Clay (Ospreys), Alisha Butchers (Scarlets), Rachel Taylor (RGC), Sioned Harries (Scarlets)

Replacements: Morfudd Ifans (Scarlets), Cerys Hale (Dragons), Meg York (Dragons), Siwan Lillicrap (Ospreys), Shona Powell-Hughes (Ospreys), Keira Bevan (Ospreys), Robyn Wilkins (Ospreys), Jodie Evans (Scarlets).

Canada: Julianne Zussman (Castaway Wanderers); Magali Harvey (Club de Rugby de Quebec), Alex Tessier (Montreal Barbarians), Andrea Burk (Capilano), Elissa Alarie (Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue/Westshore); Emily Belchos (Westshore), Lori Josephson (Aurora Barbarians); Carolyn McEwen (Burnaby Lake), Laura Russell (Toronto Nomads/Cowichan), DaLeaka Menin (Calgary Hornets), Kayla Mack (Saskatoon Wild Oats), Latoya Blackwood (Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue/Westshore), Jacey Grusnick (Barrhaven Scottish), Karen Paquin (Club de Rugby de Quebec/Castaway Wanderers), Kelly Russell (capt, Toronto Nomads/Cowichan).

Replacements: Jane Kirby (Highland Fergus), Brittany Kassil (Guelph Redcoats), Olivia DeMerchant (Woodstock Wildmen/Castaway Wanderers), Tyson Beukeboom (Aurora Barbarians/Cowichan), Barbara Mervin (Westshore), Chelsea Guthrie (Stratchona Druids), Amanda Thornborough (Westshore), Brittany Waters (Meraloma Athletic Club/Castaway Wanderers).


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