Moleschi, Canada, claim Kitakyushu Sevens title as 2020 Olympics draw near

Canada now sits in second place in the overall series standings with 66 points

Photo submitted Williams Lake’s Kayla Moleschi and Canadian women’s rugby sevens teammates Bianca Farella pose with the cup after winning the HSBC Kitakyushu Sevens final over England.

Kayla Moleschi and her Canadian Sevens Women’s Rugby Teammates captured a nail-biting championship victory over England during the weekend at the HSBC World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series stop in Japan.

In what may have been the lowest scoring final in HSBC World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series history, Canada put together a 7-5 win over the English side in the HSBC Kitakyushu Sevens final, settled with the final kick of the game at Mikuni World Stadium on Sunday.

England looked on course to claim its first cup title since April of 2016 as the clock turned to red with them leading 5-0 after a try late in the first half, but Canada dug deep and worked its way from one end of the field to the other before captain Ghislaine Landry found a gap in the defence to run around behind the posts to give herself a straightforward conversion to win the match.

READ MORE: Moleschi, Canada, set to host HSBC World Series

Landry, playing in her 30th series tournament, made no mistake with the conversion to break English hearts and secure a first title for Canada since February 2017 to ensure they leave Japanese shores far happier than 12 months ago when they posted their worst ever finish of 11th.

Canada now sits in second place in the overall series standings with 66 points — six points back of first-place New Zealand, but two points ahead of third-place U.S.

With the top four teams in the series to qualify for the Tokyo 2010 Olympic Games, the significance of this success was not lost on HSBC player of the final Landry with Canada now sitting 20 points clear of France with only two rounds remaining on home soil in Langford and in Biarritz, France.

“Our goal for this season was to come top four and take one of those Olympic qualifier spots so we took a massive step towards that this weekend and that is just what we are going to keep focusing on,” Canadian head coach John Tait said.

READ MORE: Kayla Moleschi named Rugby Canada 2016 Women’s Seven Player of the Year

“We will look to perform better, I don’t think we hit our stride fully in this tournament and that is encouraging as we won. If we can put our attack together with some of the defence we played I think that is a lot of positives to come.”’

Coming up next for Moleschi and Canada is a date on home soil when they place host to the HSBC World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series in Langford, B.C., for the penultimate round on May 11-12.

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