Although the final of the Women’s Rugby World Cup didn’t quite produce the spectacle and sense of elation from a Canadian perspective that last weekend’s game did, a huge step forward was taken by a very courageous and talented Canadian women’s team at Sunday’s final.
England emerged victorious 21-9 and lifted the trophy but Canada was by no means a pushover. England were devastatingly effective in denying Canada quick ball, knowing that if Canada’s backline were given room to run there would be no stopping them. Ultimately it comes down to planning and knowing your opponent and denying them their strengths. In this the English women’s team gave all of us a lesson in how to prepare for a World Cup final and come out the winners.
Canada can still feel proud of their second place finish and how they lit up the tournament at times with some breathtaking displays of rugby. This was recognised by Canada’s winger Magali Harvey being voted Women’s Player of the Year by the IRB, with Canada’s Captain Kelly Russell also getting favourable mention.
As Canadians we should all feel proud of the efforts of this remarkable and inspirational group of women, and I hope that the enthusiasm for the game of rugby in general that this tournament generated as well as interest in our Women’s and Men’s teams will only continue to grow and result in more success in the future.