Canada out of medal contention after loss at women's rugby World Cup
New Zealand hammers Canadians to close out preliminary round
Canada will not have a chance at a medal at the women's rugby World Cup after losing 48-5 to New Zealand on Thursday in its final Pool A game.
Only the three pool winners and the top second-place team advance to the final four. Canada finished second in Pool A with nine points, and its fate was sealed when the United States finished second in Group B with 11 points following a 47-26 loss to defending champion England.
The Canadians, who were silver medallists at the 2014 World Cup, will play in Tuesday's consolation round.
"New Zealand is physically stronger, tactically stronger and technically stronger," Canadian head coach Francois Ratier said. "When you face a better team, there's not much else to say. The Black Ferns played better than us and they deserve the victory. Now, we'll get some fresh blood in the lineup and prepare the future."
Front-rower Aldora Itunu scored three tries for the Black Ferns, while Selica Winiata, Kelly Brazier, Stacey Waaka, captain Fiao'o Fa'amausili and Renee Wickliffe each scored once.
'You can't drop the ball like we did'
"This was the team we were waiting for and we wanted to shut them down early," said Fa'amausili. "I'm proud of my girls. It was a massive team effort but full credit to Canada, they came out firing from the start. I'm pleased with where we're at but there's still a lot of work to do."
Jacey Grusnick of Alliston, Ont., scored Canada's lone try of the match.
"The Ferns came out hard and we left everything out there but our discipline... you can't drop the ball like we did," Canada captain Kelly Russell said. "It wasn't good enough today."
Canada, third in the world rankings, hadn't allowed a try in their first two games against Hong Kong and Wales, outscoring its opposition 113-0. But the Black Ferns provided to be a different challenge and the Canadians never found their footing.
New Zealand finished the preliminary round atop the Pool A standings with 15 points.
Canada's record against the Black Ferns dropped to 0-14.