Canada Wins International Women’s 7s in San Diego

Much delayed, but here is the official USA Rugby recap of the women’s 7s tournament from San Diego …

2-14-2007 – USA FINISHES 2ND IN ITS 2007 INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S SEVENS TOURNAMENT IN SAN DIEGO
SAN DIEGO – The USA ‘A’ Team took on the Canada ‘B’ Team on Saturday night in Petco Park for the right to call themselves the champions of the 2007 Women’s International Sevens Tournament held in San Diego. In the end, however, the USA was unable to pull off a win, scoring only seven points compared to Canada’s 19 on the USA Sevens pitch.

“The level of competition was greatly improved compared to last year, but I was a bit disappointed in the USA’s performance. It seems that we are a team filled with Thoroughbreds and no workhorses,” Julie McCoy, the Women’s USA ‘A’ Sevens Coach said. “These women make up the best athletes on their team and they are all running around trying to win the race, but his is a team sport, and we need to emphasize that.

“The Canadian defense was well organized, and I was very impressed with their new coach,” McCoy added. “We, on the other hand, were not organized. I put this loss on myself, as I was extremely distracted by both trying to lead the team, and running our own tournament. In the end, the U.S. players lost patience with the score, each trying to win the game individually.

This women’s tournament featured the best women’s international sevens rugby North America has to offer by allowing two squads from both the USA and Canada to participate. This year, also saw China’s Women’s Sevens Team tossed into the action, and saw each team play at least three games early on Friday, Feb. 9, before going into the tournament rounds of action later in the day.

USA ‘A’ faced USA ‘B’, while Canada ‘B’ took on China for the chance to move into the final match held in Petco Park. China and USA ‘B’ ended their run at the title by losing to their respective opponents by 15 points.

It was obviously discouraging to have to play against our own team in the semifinals, but having the Chinese women there was a great addition to this tournament. They are a strong team and it was fantastic that they were able to attend,” McCoy said. “Both our players and staff learned a valuable lesson this weekend, and look forward to the opportunity to elevate our play at the Hong Kong Sevens.”

The results from the Women’s International Sevens Tournament is as follows:

Match 1: Canada ‘B’ 7, USA ‘B’ 5
Match 2: USA ‘A’ 29, China 17
Match 3: USA ‘B’ 19, Canada ‘A’ 5
Match 4: Canada ‘B’ 19, USA ‘A’ 14
Match 5: China 20, Canada ‘A’ 0
Match 6: USA ‘B’ 10, China 0,
Match 7: USA ‘A’ 19, Canada ‘A’ 5
Match 8: Canada ‘B’ 17, China 0
Match 9: USA ‘A’ 10, USA ‘B’ 5
Match 10: Canada ‘A’ 10, Canada ‘B’ 15

Semifinals
(#2) USA ‘A’ 22, (# 3) USA ‘B’ 7
(#1) Canada ‘B’ 22, (#4) China 7

Final: Canada ‘B’ 19, USA ‘A’ 7,

And in that other 7s event in San Diego, the Eagle men’s team won the shield and Fiji won it all.

Also worth noting, Alex Goff writes up a nice opinion piece about the weekend and the overall event here (free to read). By many accounts, a good and professional tournament. Goff thought the dancers were the only poor element:

But we didn’t like the cheerleaders, who were barely (pun intended) shy of performing lap dances. If we have cheerleaders, I’d rather see a real college cheerleading team do more rah-rah stuff. The gyrations we didn’t need. (Interesting to note that the cheerleaders performed after the kids took the field, and waited to do anything until every child was off the pitch – rightfully understanding that having both in close proximity was, frankly, a little icky. However, those and other kids were still in the park, watching the jumbo-tron.)

And I find it more than hilarious that a different media member commended the tournament for the dancers and how very American it is. At least this year, he didn’t categorize it under “Women’s Rugby”.

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2 responses to “Canada Wins International Women’s 7s in San Diego

  1. Anonymous

    You might be interested to note that a woman refereed a senior men’s international for the first time in history at the USA 7’s when American Dana Teagarden refereed France vs Chile on Saturday.

    Appointed to a total of 6 matches on the weekend, Dana was then the first woman to referee a senior men’s international FINAL when she handled the tense overtime Bowl Final between Argentia and Tonga. (the full match is posted in 8 clips on YouTube.com)

    It’s interesting that USA Rugby hasn’t even put out a press release on this and makes no mention in their recap of the event as it is a huge feather in the US’s cap, not only because Dana is a native-born American and a woman but especially because there were 2 Americans appointed to referee at the event. The other US referee was Graeme Bullen.

  2. So Cal Prop

    Reading Alex Goff’s praise for the latest edition of the USA 7s, as well as other recent gushing from official sources, was astonishing. It makes me wonder if we attended the same tournament. Having attended each USA 7s tournament, this was (by far) my least favorite.

    One consistent favorable comparison to previous years, one with which I agree, is the neighborhood surrounding PETCO Park. While the Home Depot Center is surrounded by acres of asphalt, a commuter university, and light industrial facilities, PETCO is right in San Diego’s Gaslamp District. Indeed, hungry and thirsty fans are no longer captive to the concessions of the stadium itself; many restaurants are quite close, including a Subway only 30 yards from the stadium gates. The proximity of other entertainment options has also been touted, though I thought that the rugby itself should be entertainment enough.

    And for that, the Home Depot Center was vastly superior. Having been built for soccer, it works well for other forms of football, including rugby and American football (it hosts championship high school games). As a baseball stadium, PETCO is wonderful. Like any decent American, I enjoy that game as well (yeah, you heard me Blondie…go back to Russia!). I think PETCO must be one of the finest places to take in a baseball game, but it’s all wrong for rugby. The seats were much further away from the action than at the HDC. Even worse, even though seated at midfield, my seats were oriented towards home plate, which was outside the corner of the rugby field. The seats on the opposite touchline (left field for a baseball game) were a much greater distance from the field, separated as they were by the warmup area. Admittedly it was interesting to see the teams prepare for their games…for about five minutes. But watching 88 identical preparations over the course of two days is hardly a substitute from being close to the action. Had I bought tickets in this section I would have felt ripped off.

    Apparently attendance this year was the highest yet. That may be, but any potential improvement in atmosphere was taken away by the stadium. At the HDC, the crowds generally filled the lower deck the length of each touchline (and only one side of the stadium even has an upper deck). Attendance was greater this year, but the size of the stadium and the distance of the seats from the field meant that the crowd seemed far more sparse and much of the atmosphere from previous years was lost. One might compare this to the East LA Classic, which is Southern California’s biggest high school football game. For most of its existence, it has been played in a 20,000 seat junior college stadium, and was a huge event in its community. Due to capacity issues, it was decided to play the game in the Coliseum, and the crowd and the spirit were swallowed up by the giant arena. I think the same thing happened here.

    Goff also cites accessibility issues. I’m not sure how hard it is to drive 7 miles on the freeway from LAX to the Home Depot Center, but whatever. But what about accessibility to the airports themselves? For fans from around the country, and especially for fans and teams coming from abroad, surely it is easier to fly into LAX than into the San Diego airport. What’s more, with many of the spectators actually being Southern California residents, putting the event in San Diego is hardly helpful. Not only do LA and Orange Counties have much larger British, South African, and Polynesian communities than San Diego, but the rugby community is much greater as well. Of 24 senior men’s clubs in the SCRFU, 4 are in San Diego County. With 1 of 8 women’s teams and 5 of 33 college programs, San Diego is actually less accessible for many. Admittedly, it is more likely to attract general sports fans who are neither rugby people nor ex-pats from participating nations.

    We’re in a bit more agreement with respect to in-stadium entertainment. Going a bit farther with the “icky” factor; Day 2 featured a dance contest that was a half-step up from a Girls Gone Wild video. This was even more out of place than the cheerleaders. As for Jason Raven’s antics in going through the stands with a camera and a mike, the best I can say is that he was merely annoying. This may actually be interpreted as praise; his idiotic equivalent in the previous two USA 7s was one of the most embarrassing things I’ve ever witnessed. Somehow, however, the first edition of the event managed to go off just fine without either.

    In any case, I guess it doesn’t matter. PETCO Park it is, at least for the next four years.

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