Canada’s women’s sevens team, with Williams Lake’s Kayla Moleschi playing a pivotal role, picked up 14 valuable International Rugby Board Women’s Sevens World Series points by finishing fourth at last weekend’s Dubai Sevens.
Missing several key players due to injuries, Canada relied on its other veterans and youngsters in the 12-team event.
On day two, Canada defeated Spain, 17-12, in overtime with a beautiful solo effort from Moleschi, before falling to New Zealand in the semifinals.
The loss setup a third-place match against Russia.
Moleschi’s game-winning try came with under 20 seconds left in the second half. Identifying an overlap, Moleschi looped around just in time to make a game-saving tackle, before stealing the ball in contact and Spain was subsequently penalized, allowing the Canadians to score.
“Spain is always a tough game,” said John Tait, head coach with Team Canada.
“We battled hard and it was a huge team effort and invaluable experience especially for our young girls to play in a sudden death extra time game.
“Kayla is a tenacious player and when she broke through their line I knew she would finish it off for us.”
Moleschi’s teammates Bianca Farella and Karen Paquin each notched tries for Canada, but it wasn’t enough as they would eventually fall 15-10 to the Russians to finish fourth place.
“I am pleased that we took enough series points in this one to still be in the race for the overall title in May,” Tait said.
“When you consider we had two fairly poor games in the pool stages and ended up having so many new players get quality minutes on the finals day.
“I think that experience will serve us well in future tournaments.”
Moleschi also made her debut early last month for Canada’s 15s side in international competition.