Rugby·RUGBY 7S

Canadian women just miss out on gold in Dubai

The Canadian women's rugby sevens team fell 17-14 to New Zealand in a hard-fought gold-medal final at the World Rugby Sevens Series in Dubai on Saturday.

New Zealand scores late try to take 17-14 win in Cup final

Canada's Ghislaine Landry, shown at right in this February 2019 file photo, scored two tries and added three conversions in a semifinal win over Australia on Saturday in Dubai. (File/Getty Images)

The Canadian women's rugby sevens team fell 17-14 to New Zealand in a hard-fought gold-medal final at the World Rugby Sevens Series in Dubai on Saturday.

Black Ferns star Stacey Waaka opened the scoring, but Canada's Karen Paquin and Julia Greenshields both scored tries and captain Ghislaine Landry converted on both to give Canada a 14-5 lead at the half.

Canada's Charity Williams prevented a late first-half try by New Zealand, but suffered a facial injury.

Waaka scored her second of the match and New Zealand added the conversion to cut Canada's lead to two points.

A try with under 30 seconds remaining in the match by New Zealand's Gayle Broughton gave the Black Ferns the victory.

WATCH | Canada vs. New Zealand:

Watch Canada duke it out with New Zealand in the Cup Final of the HSBC World Women's Rugby Sevens Series from Dubai. 27:52

Canadians impress in playoffs

After finishing second in their pool, Canada beat France 19-7 in the Cup quarter-finals thanks to a pair of tries from Paquin and another from Charity Williams.

Next up for Canada was a date in the semifinals with Australia. Landry put the team on her back, scoring two tries and adding three conversions to help lift her team to a 26-12 win.

WATCH | Canada vs. France:

Watch Canada battle France in the quarter-finals of the HSBC World Women's Rugby Sevens Series from Dubai. 22:06

Canada moved into fourth spot with 28 points in the overall standings New Zealand and the U.S. both have 36 with Australia at 32.

Canada was third overall on the women's World Series last season, behind New Zealand and the U.S.

On the men's side, the Canadian men finished their tournament with a 40-17 loss to Fiji on Saturday in the ninth-place playoff.

WATCH | Canada vs. Fiji:

Watch Canada tackle Fiji in the 9th place match at the HSBC World Women's Rugby Sevens Series from Dubai. 21:35

Canada, helped by two Fijian yellow cards, kept it close in the first half and trailed by just two points at 19-17 with three minutes remaining. The Pacific Islanders reeled off three late converted tries, however, to increase the margin of victory.

South Africa blanks New Zealand in final

The Canadian men finished 11th overall last season after a bitter labour dispute robbed them of most of their pre-season. The Canadians stumbled out of the gate and made the Cup quarter-finals just once in the first eight events, leading to the firing of coach Damian McGrath.

Henry Paul took over for the final two tournaments with the men tying for seventh in London, matching their best finish of the season, and placing ninth in Paris. Paul has since taken over the team full-time, leading it to Olympic qualification and a silver medal at the Pan American Games.

South Africa won the men's crown Saturday, blanking defending champion New Zealand 15-0 in the first men's stop of the World Series. 

WATCH | South Africa vs. New Zealand Gold Medal Match:

Watch South Africa and New Zealand go head-to-head for the Cup Final of the HSBC World Men's Rugby Sevens Series from Dubai. 31:52

England edged Samoa 19-17 to take the bronze.

After Dubai, the men and women head to South Africa for the Dec. 13-15 event in Cape Town.

With files from The Canadian Press

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