Canadian men finish 11th at Dubai Rugby Sevens after loss to France


In the semi-final against the United States of America, played in the fading desert sunlight, Australia led 17-12 deep into the second half and had chances to close it out but small mistakes gave the Eagles an opportunity, with Stephen Tomasin levelling the scores. But the Eagles, at full complement, could not expose the exhausted New Zealanders because they were unable to offload, and were plagued by errors.

Earlier on Saturday, the Blitzboks thumped Scotland 29-0 in the Plate playoffs, having lost 22-5 to England in the Cup quarter-finals.

The Canadians followed up their bronze medal from the USA Sevens in Denver with silver Friday at the Dubai Sevens following a 26-14 loss to New Zealand in the championship game.

Sitting at the top of Pool A, the New Zealand women took wins over Kenya 34-7, Russian Federation 29-12 and Ireland 24-17 on the first day of the two-day HSBC Women's World Series tournament.

Dan Norton of England became the first player in world series history to score 300 tries, with a 70-meter screamer against Canada.

There was to be no first Dubai title for U.S., though, as tries by Dylan Collier and Ngarohi McGarvey-Black ensured it would be New Zealand celebrating a long-awaited sixth Dubai title. A try-saving tackle from Mike Ellery prevented the Blitzboks answering back before Mitchell's second and a Tom Bowen try increased England's lead to 17-0 at half-time.

The Australians were undefeated coming into day two and started with a comprehensive 38-0 victory over Argentina to breeze through the quarter finals on Saturday.

The New Zealand squad perform a Haka having won the final of the Dubai Sevens
The New Zealand squad perform a Haka having won the final of the Dubai Sevens

It completed a Dubai double for New Zealand, who also won the women's competition on Friday.

That set up the final showdown with New Zealand, which advanced by blanking Russian Federation 31-0 and the US 22-0 in the knockout rounds. Sam Pecqueur scored a try with seconds left for Scotland to trail by only 21-19, then Jamie Farndale appeared to touch down the victor, but it was disallowed because he stepped out of bounds.

"We are thrilled to have received this award, which is the result of a dedicated team working with strong and committed partners that are allowing us to deliver a world-class event year over year", he said in a statement.

The next stop in the Sevens Series takes place in Cape Town, South Africa, next weekend. The Canadian women have won 10 of 12 matches this season, losing only to the Black Ferns.

Canadian teammate Kayla Moleschi of Williams Lake concurred: "We all realize what the sweep of the year is about, but we take each game as it comes".

A top-four finish this season means automatic qualification for the 2020 Olympics.

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