After finishing fourth at the Atlanta Sevens last weekend, Williams Lake’s Kayla Moleschi and her Canadian Women’s Sevens teammates will host the world in Langford, B.C. at the Canada Sevens.
The Canada Sevens — being hosted at Westhills Stadium April 16-17 — is the fourth round of the 2015/16 World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series.
Canada enters Langford sitting third in the series standings with 42 points after three events. They trail second-place New Zealand by four points, with both teams far behind series leaders Australia who top the standings with 60 points.
“I’m super excited to be back on home soil to play in front of an exciting crowd filled with family and friends,” Moleschi said.
Canada will be paired with England, Ireland and Japan in pool ‘C’ for the Canada Sevens. England is currently fourth place in the series standings, just two points back of Canada while Japan is 10th and Ireland is 12th.
“We have put in a lot of work this past year as a team and are looking forward to showcasing that,” she said.
This marks the second year in a row the world has come to Langford for a series stop and while the Canadians will be pumped up to play in front of their home fans, Canadian coach John Tait is reminded of last year’s result.
The sixth-place finish in Langford last year was uncharacteristic of a team that had gone to 10 straight Cup quarterfinals leading up and had previously qualified for the 2016 Rio Olympics in August.
Tait said he’s aware of both the good and the bad that come with playing at home.
“A big, noisy supportive crowd can generate a lot of energy if you manage your emotions and are able to turn it into positive energy, letting the support enhance your confidence and self-belief,” Tait said.
“When that happens the experience is not only great but the result usually matches it. I know last year the team really enjoyed the home atmosphere and all the support but we didn’t manage our response well enough and while we had many solid individual efforts, we didn’t channel that enough into the team’s performance.”
Tait said he’s hoping things run smoother this time around.
“I think the comfort level of what is likely to happen as far as how the tournament will run and what the atmosphere will be like will help make things a little easier for us to prepare our mindset and focus on what we need to do on the field more,” Tait said, noting he expects to see more focus this time around.
After the disappointing finish in Langford, Canada returned home last summer for the Pan Am Games in Toronto where they won gold in front of 20,000 screaming Canadian fans.
The Lake City Falcons girls rugby team, who will be in Victoria this weekend for the provincial high school sevens tournament, is also planning a trip to Langford to watch Moleschi, a Columneetza secondary alumni, play.
For the full Canada Sevens schedule visit http://www.worldrugby.org/womens-sevens-series/news/152052.
The tournament will also be streamed live online at www.worldrugby.org. The cup final is slated to kick off at 6:05 p.m. Sunday.