The Canadian rugby sevens women’s team qualified for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics by winning its first two matches at the season-ending rugby sevens series stop on Saturday.
Canada opened play with a 22-19 win over Spain and followed with a 27-10 victory over Ireland, guaranteeing a top-four finish — the Olympic qualifying standard — in the overall standings
The Canadians, who entered the tournament third overall, finished Saturday with a 27-14 loss to No. 4 Australia. But by advancing to Sunday’s Cup quarterfinals, Canada ensured that it could not be caught by fifth-place France. The Canadian women earned a bronze medal when sevens rugby made its Olympic debut at the 2006 Rio Games.
Ghislaine Landry scored a try in the second minute against Spain. Brittany Benn, Bianca Farella and substitute Breanne Nicholas also scored, and Canada withstood two late tries from the Spanish side.
Canada faced an early deficit against the Irish, who scored two tries in the first four minutes. But Canada stormed back thanks to two tries each from Kaili Kukan and Farella and another from Benn.
Canada looked to make it three wins when Farella scored an early try against Australia. But the Aussies powered back thanks to three tries from Charlotte Caslick and two from Evania Pelite. Substitute Charity Williams had Canada’s other try.