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Canada closes out in Spain Sevens with mixed results

The Canada roster includes Olivia Apps, UVic Vikes graduates Pamphinette Buisa and Farries, Elissa Alarie from Westshore RFC.
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Westshore RFC's Elissa Alarie was impressive for Canada at the Spain Sevens tournament.. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-World Rugby

A field-length try by Olivia Apps, the Victoria-born Queen’s University grad, highlighted play for Canada as the Langford-based national rugby teams closed out play Sunday in the HSBC World Series Spain Sevens tournament in Stadium Ciudad de Malaga.

Apps’ breathtaking try, on an offload by former University of Victoria Vikes star Paige Farries, occurred in the 26-7 victory over Poland that avenged a stunning 17-14 loss to the lightly-regarded Polish side Saturday in group play. Farries, out of Westshore RFC, scored a try in the victory over Poland. Canada, however, went on to lose 26-5 to Ireland to place sixth in the women’s portion of the tournament after going 0-3 in group play.

The United States won the women’s championship.

The Canada roster includes Apps, UVic Vikes graduates Pamphinette Buisa and Farries, Elissa Alarie from Westshore RFC. A notable re-addition was 2016 Rio Olympics medallist Karen Paquin.

Canada, which shockingly failed to make the quarter-finals in the Tokyo Olympics last summer and is currently seventh in the HSBC World Series, will continue the rebuild this week by remaining in Spain for the Seville Sevens and then in the women’s HSBC Canada Sevens on April 30-May 1 at Starlight Stadium in Langford.

Meanwhile, Cooper Coats and Josiah Morra turned in strong performances as Canada closed out Sunday in Malaga with a 19-7 loss to the U.S. to place sixth.

Canada went 2-1 in men’s group play in Spain, beating Kenya 19-17 and Wales 26-7 before losing 38-5 to France, to advance to the quarter-finals against South Africa. The Canadians were beaten 14-0 in the quarter-final match-up en route to the Blitzboks winning the tournament.

Canadian highlights in Spain included Sion Griffiths of Mill Bay and Noah Bain of Abbotsford making their Canadian international debuts. Anton Ngongo and Matthew Oworu of Victoria were also part of the Canadian youth wave in Spain.

Canada is in 11th place in the HSBC World Series standings heading to Seville this week. The Canada Sevens is April 16-17 at B.C. Place.

cdheensaw@timescolonist.com