CANADA DEFEATS USA 27-3 TO WIN NATIONS CUP; 19 ONTARIANS ON CANADA’S 26-WOMAN ROSTER
Robert Murray, Rugby Canada Communications
Canada and the United States added another chapter to their international athletic rivalry on Sunday; this time on the rugby pitch. There were some tense moments for both sides but in the end, Canada prevailed by a score of 27–3.
"It's a pretty important day in women's rugby in Canada," said head coach Sandro Fiorino. "These girls worked pretty hard and proved their point to the rest of the three teams here and the rest of the world. It's pretty impressive of what we have in our country right now."
Canada got the early start they wanted, using the foot of Jess Neilson to put them ahead by three early. Following a United States penalty goal by Anne Peterson, Canada scored the first try of the game thanks to Emily Belchos. Jess Neilson continued her strong play throughout the tournament adding a conversion to give Canada the 10-3 lead heading into the break.
Canada came out strong in the second half using two tries from Frederique Rajotte to propel Canada to its first ever Under 20 Women’s Nations Cup title. Canada used strong tackling from DaLeaka Menin and Cindy Nelles to gain the upper hand in the later stages of the game to prevent a comeback by the Americans.
"It feels amazing,” said Rajotte. “We worked so hard to get to this point. It was such a team effort on everyone's part. We came together at the end and just made it happen and we executed our game plan perfectly."
For many of the players on this squad, this wasn’t the first time and certainly won’t be the last time they suit up for Canada.
“It's a humbling experience,” said Rajotte. “I have no words for it. When you put on that maple leaf you feel that pride and that the country is backing you up. There's so much love and it's such a respectful country, it's amazing to be part of it.”
Despite only playing with each other for a few weeks, Canada’s Under 20 squad were able to bond effectively under Sandro Fiorino, who was in his first year with the team, and his coaching staff.
With the victory, Canada becomes the only nation other than England to capture the Under 20 Nations Cup title.
Tries: Belchos, Rajotte 2
Conversion: Neilson 2, Gordon
Penalty: Neilson 2
United States 3
Full Canada Roster for Women’s Under 20 Nations Cup – Name, (Club Team) Hometown
Emily Barber (Lindsay RFC) Fenelon Falls, ON
Emily Belchos (Markham Irish RFC) Barrie, ON
Hannah Darling (Peterborough Pagans RFC) Warsaw, ON
Ashley Delaney (University of Lethbridge) Calgary, AB
Paige Farries (Druid RFC) Red Deer, AB
Sarah Gordon (Bayside RFC) Surrey, BC
Sara Haring (Edmonton Pirates RFC) Gibbons, AB
Lori Josephson (Aurora Barbarians RFC) Beaverton, ON
Sara Kaljuvee (Toronto Scottish RFC) Pickering, ON
Daria Keane (Sarnia Saints RFC) Sarnia, ON
Natalie Lesco (London St. George) London, ON
Lauren McEwen (YeoLions RFC) Wasaga Beach, ON
DaLeaka Menin (Hornets Rugby Club) Vulcan, AB
Charli Mocon (Mississauga Blues) Mississauga, ON
Jess Neilson (Carson Graham Secondary School) North Vancouver, BC
Cindy Nelles (Oakville Crusaders) Belleville, ON
Breanne Nicholas (Kent Havoc RFC) Blenheim, ON
Fedelia Omaghan (Toronto Saracens) Scarborough, ON
Nadia Popov (Aurora Barbarians) Newmarket, ON
Frederique Rajotte (Markam Irish RFC) Markham, ON
Dani Robb (BC Rugby) Shawnigan Lake, BC
Jordyn Rowntree (Aurora Barbarians RFC) Aurora, ON
Ashley Snider (Waterloo County RFC) Kitchener, ON
Danielle Spice (Oakville Crusaders) Oakville, ON
Katie Svoboda (Belleville Bulldogs) Belleville, ON
Sara Svoboda (Belleville Bulldogs) Belleville, ON
Canada U20 Women’s Team Staff:
Head Coach: Sandro Fiorino
Assistant Coach: Jennifer Boyd
Assistant Coach: Dan Valley
Athletic Therapist: Jason White
Manager: Claudine Tyrell
Press Officer: Robert Murray
U20 Nations Cup Schedule:
Thursday July 11th
USA 15-25 Canada
England 22-24 South Africa
Sunday July 14th
South Africa 5-44 USA
Canada 43-15 England
Wednesday July 17th
Canada 37-0 South Africa
England 17-27 USA
Sunday July 21st
South Africa 3-27 England - 3rd/4th Place Final
Canada 27-3 USA - 1st Place Final