North Americans whitewashed in third-place play-off


Canada Women’s Rugby World Cup Squad 2022

Perhaps this was one game too far for Canada. They have been outstanding at this Rugby World Cup but looked fatigued in this third-place play-off and were ultimately hammered 36-0.

The fact that Canada’s tackle success for much of the match was less than 70% would suggest a little tiredness in their ranks at the end of the tournament. They conceded three first-half tries and trailed 22-0 at the break and then leaked another two in the second period.

They did get the upper hand in a few scrums and had periods when they were camped in the French 22, but they weren’t clinical or creative enough in the face of the blue defensive wall that has been so solid at this World Cup.

So Canada end the tournament with a heavy defeat, but have certainly made the case for more investment and more Test matches going forward.

Canada team to play France – Saturday 12 November

Elissa Alarie; Maddy Grant, Alysha Corrigan, Sara Kaljuvee, Paige Farries; Alex Tessier, Justine Pelletier; Olivia DeMerchant, Emily Tuttosi, DaLeaka Menin, Courtney Holtkamp, McKinley Hunt, Sara Svoboda, Karen Paquin, Sophie De Goede (captain).

Replacements: Gillian Boag, Brittany Kassil, Alexandria Ellis, Emma Taylor, Tyson Beukeboom, Gabrielle Senft, Fabiola Forteza, Anais Holly.

England 26-19 Canada

Canada delivered an incredible performance in their Rugby World Cup semi-final against England and gave the world’s number one team a big scare, but they ultimately came up short at Eden Park, losing 26-19.

It was a brilliant Test, both sides bringing plenty of physicality and tactical nous to make it a far more competitive contest than many predicted. Canada’s amateurs not only went toe-to-toe with England’s full-timers but bettered them for many periods of the game, particularly in the second half.

In the end, they couldn’t make the swathes of territory and possession they enjoyed in the second period count on the scoreboard, allowing England to close out the win.

Canada were 12-0 down within 15 minutes against England but they had levelled things up shortly before the break, showing how impressive their set-piece game is.

Their lineout struggled early on, with a couple of overthrows, but when they were able to get it to click they put pressure on England, who were forced to concede penalties.

Their first try came midway through the half when Justine Pelletier broke from the back of a scrum and put in a kick ahead. Karen Paquin beat the England defence to touch down the ball to score in a similar fashion to the way she did last weekend against the USA.

Then, after they had held England up over the line, they built through their maul, setting up a platform five metres out. After a series of pick-and-goes close to the line, they spread the ball wide, where Alysha Corrigan was in lots of space to run over. Sophie de Goede’s conversion levelled the scores only for an Emily Scarratt penalty to give England a narrow 15-12 lead at the break.

Canada came out strongly in the second half, spending much of the third quarter in England’s 22. They were edging closer and closer to the line with a series of pick-and-goes before England turned the ball over, broke clear and Abby Dow burst clear for the corner.

Momentum swung back towards Canada, though, when capitalising on a series of penalties to set up a platform with five-metre lineouts that allowed them to deploy their maul. Yet after Vickii Cornborough was sin-binned, Canada’s next lineout throw wasn’t straight and England were able to clear.

The breakthrough finally came in the 68th minute when Tyson Beukeboom got over from close range, a few phases after the replacement back-row had made a great break in the 22. Another de Goede conversion narrowed the deficit to just four points going into the final dozen minutes.

It was back to seven points a couple of minutes later following another Scarratt penalty and despite spending most of the final period in England’s half, they couldn’t breach the line again. Instead, they head to the third-place play-off next weekend.

Canada team to play England – Saturday 5 November

Elissa Alarie; Maddy Grant, Alysha Corrigan, Sara Kaljuvee, Paige Farries; Alex Tessier, Justine Pelletier; Olivia DeMerchant, Emily Tuttosi, DaLeaka Menin, Courtney Holtkamp, McKinley Hunt, Fabiola Forteza, Karen Paquin, Sophie De Goede (captain).

Replacements: Gillian Boag, Brittany Kassil, Alexandria Ellis, Tyson Beukeboom, Gabrielle Senft, Sara Svoboda, Anais Holly.

Canada 32-11 USA

Canada will play England in the Rugby World Cup semi-finals next weekend after beating the USA 32-11 at Waitakere Stadium in Auckland.

The Canadians recovered from a shaky start to extend their winning run against their North American rivals to seven matches. As well as impressing in the close-quarters exchanges,  they were able to cut open the USA out wide, with the likes of Paige Farries and Elissa Alarie prominent. Fabiola Forteza also carried strongly through the middle.

Canada are arguably the best-drilled set-piece side behind England so their last-four meeting at Eden Park next weekend should be intriguing, albeit that the Red Roses will be clear favourites. After all, Canada are the last amateur team standing at this World Cup.

The USA had the better of the opening exchanges, with a chargedown on Alex Tessier inside 30 seconds setting the tone. Canada couldn’t escape their own half in those ealy minutes and the USA scored the opening try after nine minutes when Joanna Kitlinski got over from a pick-and-go on the line.

Canada then hit back with two tries in five minutes before the end of the first quarter. First, they set up from a maul from a five-metre driving lineout and McKinley Hunt surged over from close range. Next, Karen Paquin won the race to ground an Alarie kick ahead.

The USA thought they had reduced the deficit with a try around the 30-minute mark when Hope Rogers went over but it was ruled out by the TMO for a knock-on at the preceding maul. Alev Kelter did slot a penalty shortly after, however, to make it 12-8 at the break.

Canada struck first in the second period when Farries cut a great line to catch the USA defence out and score under posts.

Kelter and Sophie de Goede then exchanged penalties, with the Canadian opportunity coming when the USA centre was yellow-carded for a dangerous tackle.

Canada also scored their fourth try while Kelter was in the sin-bin. A weaving run by Alarie took play into the USA 22 and Canada built the phases from there to stretch their opponents in defence, with Alex Tessier presented with an easy run-in close to the posts.

Another de Goede penalty gave Canada a comfortable lead going into the final 15 minutes. They couldn’t take other chances in the closing stages, but they had done enough to progress to the last four.

Canada team to play USA – Sunday 30 October

Elissa Alarie; Maddy Grant, Alysha Corrigan, Sara Kaljuvee, Paige Farries; Alex Tessier, Justine Pelletier; Olivia DeMerchant, Emily Tuttosi, DaLeaka Menin, Courtney Holtkamp, McKinley Hunt, Fabiola Forteza, Karen Paquin, Sophie de Goede (captain).

Replacements: Gillian Boag, Brittany Kassil, Alexandria Ellis, Ngalula Fuamba, Tyson Beukeboom, Gabrielle Senft, Pamphinette Buisa, Anais Holly.

Canada 29-14 USA

The Canada Women’s Rugby World Cup squad confirmed their position as second seeds for the quarter-finals with a 29-14 bonus-point win over the USA at Waitakere Stadium.

They were the dominant team in the first half, scoring three tries to one to lead 19-7 at the break, but the second period was far more evenly matched. It was a hugely physical game and Canada’s penalty count creeped up significantly in that second 40, allowing the USA to gain possession and territory.

Still, they came through to take maximum points in the pool stages – and are expected to face their North American rivals in the knockout stages (bar a shock result in the later England-South Africa match).

The strength of Canada’s maul has been evident throughout this World Cup, so it was no surprise that their first try came from that facet of play, hooker Emily Tottosi touching down in the seventh minute for her sixth try in three matches.

They extended their lead a few minutes later when Alex Tessier darted over from close range after a strong spell in the USA 22. Back, then, came the Eagles with Alev Kelter powering through two tacklers and fending off another at the end of the first quarter.

It was the Canadians who had the better chances in the rest of that opening half, though, and Paige Farries scored their third try shortly before the break when put into space out wide.

It took them until the hour mark to secure the bonus point, Olivia DeMerchant the scorer from another driving maul, and Mikiela Nelson got over in the corner after the hooter had sounded.

They have now won six straight matches against the USA – and will be looking to make it seven next weekend.

Canada team to play USA – Sunday 23 October

Elissa Alarie; Maddy Grant, Alysha Corrigan, Sara Kaljuvee, Paige Farries; Alex Tessier, Justine Pelletier; Brittany Kassil, Emily Tuttosi, DaLeaka Menin, Courtney Holtkamp, McKinley Hunt, Karen Paquin, Sara Svoboda, Sophie De Goede (captain).

Replacements: Gillian Boag, Mikiela Nelson, Olivia DeMerchant, Ngalula Fuamba, Tyson Beukeboom,  Gabrielle Senft, Anais Holly, Julia Schell.

Italy 12-22 Canada

Canada booked their place in the Rugby World Cup quarter-finals with a 22-12 bonus-point win over Italy at Waitakere Stadium in Auckland.

Canada were caught out in the first minute when Italy full-back Vittoria Ostuni Minuzzi broke through a cluster of defenders then weaved away from a few others to score in the corner, but they recovered to lead 12-5 at half-time.

Paige Farries scored their first try midway through the first half with a great line inside the Italy 22 to score under the posts. Then their driving maul – so destructive against Japan last week – delivered a second try just before the break, Emily Tuttosi the scorer.

It was Canada’s physicality that proved decisive in the second half and allowed them to pull clear of the Italians with two tries in the third quarter.

First, the forwards pressurised Italy with a couple of tap-and-goes close to the line, drawing in defenders, then they exploited the space out wide with a long pass to Sara Kaljuvee, who had a simple run-in.

Next, they deployed their maul again, Tuttosi getting her fifth try in two matches as she grounded the ball.

They did concede another try in the last minute but, most importantly, are through to the last eight.

Canada team to play Italy – Sunday 16 October

Elissa Alarie; Maddy Grant, Sara Kaljuvee, Alex Tessier, Paige Farries; Julia Schell, Brianna Miller; Olivia DeMerchant, Emily Tuttosi, DaLeaka Menin, Courtney Holtkamp, Tyson Beukeboom, Fabiola Forteza, Sara Svoboda, Sophie de Goede (captain).

Replacements: Gillian Boag, Brittany Kassil, Alexandria Ellis, McKinley Hunt, Emma Taylor, Karen Paquin, Justine Pelletier, Alysha Corrigan.

Japan 5-41 Canada

An Emily Tuttosi hat-trick helped Canada to a 41-5 victory over Japan in their opening Rugby World Cup match in Whangarei.

Canada, and particularly their driving maul, ultimately proved too powerful for Japan. Three of their five first-half tries came from their well-drilled lineout, with Tuttosi getting a brace when grounding from the back of a drive and scrum-half Brianna Miller weaving over when taking the ball from her forwards after they had made metres.

Their first try was more fortuitous with Paige Farries going over after Japan’s Komachi Imakugi was charged down in her own 22. Miller also sniped over midway through the half as Canada pounced on loose possession close to the Japan line.

Tuttosi completed her hat-trick early in the second half as Canada capitalised on a penalty from a five-metre scrum. Sophie de Goede took a quick tap and a couple of phases later Tuttosi burrowed over.

Mikiela Nelson scored their seventh try in similar fashion in the final quarter to wrap up a convincing win for the Pool B favourites.

Canada team to play Japan – Sunday 9 October

Elissa Alarie; Maddy Grant, Sara Kaljuvee, Alex Tessier, Paige Farries; Julia Schell, Brianna Miller; Brittany Kassil, Emily Tuttosi, DaLeaka Menin, Courtney Holtkamp, Tyson Beukeboom, Fabiola Forteza, Karen Paquin, Sophie de Goede (captain).

Replacements: Gilian Boag, Mikiela Nelson, Alexandria Ellis, Ngalula Fuamba, Emma Taylor, Gabrielle Senft, Justine Pelletier, Anais Holly.

Canada Women’s Rugby World Cup Squad 2022

Canada are the first team to name their Rugby World Cup squad, head coach Kevin Rouet selecting the 32 players who will travel to New Zealand at the end of August.

No 8 Sophie de Goede will captain the side at her first World Cup, but there is experience in the squad too. Olivia DeMerchant, Brianna Miller, Laura Russell, Tyson Beukeboom, Karen Paquin, Elissa Alarie, Brittany Kassil, DaLeaka Menin and Alexandra Tessier have all played in previous World Cups.

Canadian women’s rugby is not a lucrative venture, meaning many squad members have full-time jobs and will make  financial sacrifices to play in the tournament.

Rouet, who took over as head coach from Sandro Fiorino earlier this year, said: “It was a very tough selection process, and all of the players made it very difficult to narrow our squad down to a group of 32.

“All of them have been so dedicated and put in so much hard work to get to this point. However, the real hard work starts now as we head to New Zealand with a desire and belief that we can compete for the Rugby World Cup trophy, the first in Canada’s history.”

Here is Canada Women’s Rugby World Cup squad.



Elissa Alarie (31 Jan 1986/Westshore/Full-back)

Alysha Corrigan (25 Jan 1997/Saracens/Full-back)

Paige Farries (12 Aug 1994/Worcester Warriors/Centre)

Maddy Grant (12 Mar 2001/University of Ottawa/Wing)

Anaїs Holly (10 Dec 1992/Town of Mont-Royal/Fly-half)

Sara Kaljuvee (7 Feb 1993/Toronto Scottish/Centre)

Sarah-Maude Lachance (7 Dec 1998/Pau/Wing)

Brianna Miller (18 Sep 1991/Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue/Scrum-half)

Justine Pelletier (27 Feb 2001/Riviere-du-Loup/Scrum-half)

Taylor Perry (23 Jul 2000/Oakville Crusaders/Fly-half) Replaced by front-row Veronica Harrigan on 14 Oct after being ruled out of tournament with a knee injury

Sabrina Poulin (3 Oct 1992/Town of Mont-Royal/Wing)

Julia Schell (13 Jul 1996/Castaway Wanderers/Fly-half)

Alexandra Tessier (3 Sep 1993/Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue/Fly-half or centre)

Marie Thibault (1 July 1993/Quebec/Centre)


Tyson Beukeboom (10 Mar 1991/Cowichan/Lock)

Gillian Boag (19 Feb 1995/Capilano/Hooker)

Sophie de Goede (30 Jun 1999/Castaway Wanderers/No 8)

Olivia DeMerchant (16 Feb 1991/Halifax Tars/Prop)

Alex Ellis (1 Aug 1995/Saracens/Prop)

Fabiola Forteza (4 Aug 1995/Quebec/Back-row)

Ngalula Fuamba (28 Nov 1994/Town of Mount Royal/Lock)

Courtney Holtkamp (25 Apr 1999/Red Deer Titans/Lock)

McKinley Hunt (5 Jan 1997/Exeter Chiefs/Lock)

Brittany Kassil (14 Mar 1991/Guelph Redcoats/Prop)

DaLeaka Menin (16 Jun 1995/Exeter Chiefs/Prop)

Mikiela Nelson (27 Nov 1997/Capilano/Prop)

Karen Paquin (3 Aug 1987/Stade Bordelais/Back-row)

Laura Russell (10 Nov 1988/Toronto Nomads/Hooker) Replaced by Pamphinette Buisa (28 Dec 1996/Ottawa Irish) on 6 October after being ruled out of the World Cup due to injury

Gabrielle Senft (13 Jun 1997/Exeter Chiefs/Back-row)

Sara Svoboda (3 Feb 1995/Loughborough Lightning/Back-row)

Emma Taylor (9 Jul 1992/HRFC/Lock)

Emily Tuttosi (21 Sep 1995/Exeter Chiefs/Hooker)

Canada Women’s Rugby World Cup Squad Fixtures 2022

(All kick-off times are UK & Ireland time)

Pool B

Sun 9 Oct, Japan 5-41 Canada

Sun 16 Oct, Italy 12-22 Canada

Sun 23 Oct, Canada 29-14 USA


Sun 30 Oct, Canada 32-11 USA


Sat 5 Nov, England 26-19 Canada

Third-place play-off

Sat 12 Nov, Canada 0-36 France

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