Canada’s men, looking to bounce back from a painful loss to Argentina, started well against Australia but conceded 17 second-half points in a 22-7 loss on Friday at the HSBC Sydney Sevens in Sydney, Australia.
Playing in the 80-degree heat at Bankwest Stadium, the Canadians led 7-5 at half-time, only to see Australia take the lead after the break.
Earlier, the Canadian men fell victim to a furious comeback from Argentina, conceding three late tries to lose by 24-19.
The game was the first for the South Americans since winning the tournament last weekend in Hamilton, New Zealand, where they beat hosts All Blacks 14-12 in the final after beating Canada 29-14 in pool play.
Fiji Women, who had recovered from a 17-5 opening defeat by Great Britain with a 17-14 win over USA, scored twice in the first half while Canada was reduced to six players and led at the break 17:0
Canada’s Olivia Apps and Pam Buisa were both penalized for deliberately knocking over opponents’ passes. The Canadians were without the injured Krissy Scurfield for the game.
A Canadian handling error resulted in another Fiji try and a 22-0 lead. Alysha Corrigan finally got Canada on the board, capping an attack sparked by a good run from veteran Bianca Farella.
But Fiji progressed, scoring two more tries with some stylish solo runs.
Fiji is seventh overall after three women’s events, while Canada is 10th.
CLOCK | Women’s World Rugby Sevens Series Sydney: Canada vs. Fiji:
Brock Webster scored a try and conversion for Canada against Australia.
Canada started well, coming within two meters of the Australian try line from kickoff. But the Australians repelled the threat.
Australia captain Henry Hutchinson was yellow carded midway through the first half for a professional foul on the breakdown. Webster scored in the corner while Canada capitalized on man advantage.
James Turner scored in the corner as time ran out in the first half and Canada lost a man. Turner scored a second early in the second half and landed in the corner to put the Australians 10-7 ahead.
Australia put Canada in their own half and the pressure resulted in a turnover and a yellow card for Canada’s Matt Oworu. Darby Lancaster, a 19-year-old, and Hutchinson scored tries with Canada reduced to six men.
CLOCK | Men’s World Rugby Sevens Series Sydney: Canada vs. Australia:
The Australians came to Sydney after four events in seventh place overall. Canada is in 14th place, down in the relegation zone.
The number of men’s core teams will be reduced to 12 after this season.
The 15th regular team after the 10th round in Toulouse in May will be relegated. The teams ranked 12th, 13th and 14th at the end of the event in Toulouse join the 2023 Challenger Series winner in a four-team relegation playoff in the final stop of the season in London.
With less than three minutes to go, Argentina were 19-5 behind Canada and appeared to have scored when speedster Marcos Moneta crashed into the corner. But Josiah Morra caught the 2021 World Rugby’s Sevens Mens Player of the Year crossing the try-line and, with the help of captain Phil Berna, prevented him from grounding the ball.
Rodrigo Isgro scored from the ensuing scrum to cut the lead to 19-12 with less than 90 seconds to go. Isgro rose to beat a Canadian and clinched the restart, racing for a converted try and a 19-19 draw.
Argentina won the restart again, laying siege to the Canadian try line after a smashing run from Luciano Gonzalez. The ball went wide to Moneta for the converted try that completed the comeback on time.
Berna, Anton Ngongo and Webster scored tries for Canada, who led 12-5 at halftime. Webster added two conversions.
The Canada men finish the game in Pool A against No. 10 Great Britain at 12:55 p.m. ET.
Great Britain beat Argentina 26-19 after losing 7-12 to Australia in the opening game.
For the other men, Payton Spencer, the 18-year-old son of former All-Black star Carlos Spencer, scored twice in New Zealand’s 45-7 win over Uruguay
In the women’s game, Buisa and Corrigan scored in Canada’s 14-12 loss to the USA on Thursday night. Canada were down 14-5 at half-time, closing the gap on Corrigan’s 13th-minute effort.
The American, who was runner-up behind New Zealand in Hamilton last weekend, is third in the women’s category.
Apps scored Canada’s only try in the 19-5 defeat by No. 6 Great Britain, leading 14-0 at half-time.