Coventry, England – Sunday, July 31st, 2022 – Canada’s women finished in fourth place at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games rugby sevens tournament after New Zealand won three tries to two in the bronze medal match.
The Gold Coast 2018 and Tokyo 2020 Olympic champions scored three tries before Canada fired into life and scored tries through Piper Logan and Emma Chown.
Time ran out though to stop what would have been a memorable comeback for Jack Hanratty’s team, leaving his charges with fourth place for a second consecutive Commonwealth Games.
“We were gutted after last night, losing the semifinal,” Hanratty said. “We wanted a medal around our neck and show that Canada is back on the world stage.
“The Black Ferns are a quality side. They were a bounce of the ball away from the gold medal game. They are one of the best teams in the world for a reason and we want to test ourselves in these games all the time and that was the way it went today.
“They were a team that expected gold, and we were a team expecting a medal. It’s nothing to despair about, it’s where we are.”
Jamaica’s men had an unforgettable day that finished with the team’s first wins at the Commonwealth Games to secure 13th place in the final rankings.
First came a 28-7 victory over Malaysia. Tyler Bush opened the scoring and then Fabion Turner ran in unopposed to open up a 14-0 half-time lead.
In the second half a powerful Dy’neal Fessal break opened up the defence and he slipped the ball to Mason Caton-Brown to finish. Caton-Brown wasn’t finished and he scored a second to put a seal on the result.
Sri Lanka stood between Jamaica and 13th place and Caton-Brown was soon back into his stride with his third try of the tournament.
The score swung both ways as Sri Lanka drew level, and then again after Ashley Smith ran in from Caton-Brown’s deft pass just before half-time.
Caton-Brown scored his second early in the second period and it sparked off a mad period as first Buddhima Nanayakkara Kudachchige pulled Sri Lanka level, and then Oshane Edie put Jamaica back in front for a lead that it held to the final whistle to mark a memorable end to a tournament that began slowly but ended in joyous fashion.
“We started out with an easy game plan, but we wanted to bring our ranking up,” Edie said. “We started in 20 and we definitely go away higher.
“We stayed patient and moved the ball a couple of times and knew the gaps would open up. Being the underdog gave us the extra push knowing you have nothing to lose and to go out there and give your best.”
Canada’s men were unable to finish on a high as Samoa edged their classification semifinal 19-17.
Two early Jake Thiel tries gave Canada confidence, but Samoa hit back through Steve Onosai and Uaina Sione to head into the final seconds 19-12 ahead.
Canada refused to lie down and after keeping the ball alive Cooper Coats crossed in the corner, but he was unable to land the conversion that would have taken the match into extra time.
“This whole year we have been hanging around with the top side, we just continue to get better,” Thiel said. “It feels good to know we can match that level. It just stings to not finish it off.
“We looked at this tournament as a big deal and a chance to test ourselves against some of the world’s best teams and we’ve come out pretty well.”
About Birmingham 2022
It is the seventh time that rugby sevens has taken place in the Commonwealth Games since it was introduced for men at Kuala Lumpur 1998 and in that time New Zealand has won five golds, and South Africa one.
The women’s competition came in four years ago when New Zealand claimed the inaugural gold at Gold Coast.
Sixteen men’s team and eight women’s competed at Birmingham 2022, and the tournament ran from July 29-31 at Coventry Arena, home of English Premiership side Wasps.