Canada to play Great Britain for Olympic bronze in women's rugby 7s
Emilee Cherry's 2 tries lead Australia to 17-5 semifinal victory
By Doug Harrison, CBC Sports
Canada, the 2015 Pan Am gold medallists in women's rugby sevens, will play for bronze at the Rio Olympics.
The Canadians couldn't recover from a 12-0 halftime deficit, losing 17-5 to the top-ranked Australians in semifinal action on Monday afternoon.
With 43 seconds left in the game, Charity Williams scored the lone try for Canada, which will play Great Britain at 5:30 p.m. ET. The Brits, who lost their semifinal 25-7 to New Zealand, defeated Canada 22-0 to conclude the preliminary round.
<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/CAN?src=hash">#CAN</a> takes on <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/GBR?src=hash">#GBR</a> for bronze tonight at 5:30 p.m. ET. Are you ready? <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/RugbySevens?src=hash">#RugbySevens</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Rio2016?src=hash">#Rio2016</a> <a href="https://t.co/JAoL0ve2RK">https://t.co/JAoL0ve2RK</a> <a href="https://t.co/NthowZVPe2">https://t.co/NthowZVPe2</a>—@CBCOlympics
"We came here for a medal," Canadian coach John Tait said. "It's not the one we wanted but there's still a chance for one."
Australia will meet New Zealand for gold at 6 p.m. ET.
<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NZL?src=hash">#NZL</a> will play for gold with a 25-7 win. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/GBR?src=hash">#GBR</a> to play <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/CAN?src=hash">#CAN</a> for bronze today at 5:30 p.m. ET <a href="https://t.co/JAoL0ve2RK">https://t.co/JAoL0ve2RK</a> <a href="https://t.co/0GRK8yItqS">https://t.co/0GRK8yItqS</a>—@CBCOlympics
Canada dropped to 1-4 against Australia this year, with its lone win coming in the final of the last Sevens Series tournament in France. While Canada won that tournament, Australia secured the overall title handily.
Tait pointed to a breakdown in defence that led to three Australian linebreaks and two scores on Monday.
"They're a dangerous team," he said. "You give them that much time and space and they get open and running in the field, they're pretty impossible to stop."
Emilee Cherry led Australia with two first-half tries, with Chloe Dalton added another in the second half. Dalton converted one of three tries while Ghislaine Landry missed following Williams' try.
The third-seeded Canadians advanced to the semifinals with a 15-5 victory over France after posting a 2-1 pool record.
Australia downed Spain 24-0 in its quarter-final and went 2-0-1 in pool play, needing a last-minute conversion from Dalton to tie the U.S. 12-12.
The Australians were the class of the Women's World Series this season, winning three of the five events and finishing second and third in the other two. Their record on the circuit was 27-3 with two of the defeats at the hands of England. The other setback was a 29-19 loss to Canada in the final of the last event of the season in Clermont-Ferrand, France.
Canada came into the tournament as a medal favourite after capturing gold at last summer's Pan American Games and finishing third on the world circuit this season. The Canadians were second in the World Series in 2014-15.
With files from The Canadian Press