From Abbotsford Rugby. Abbotsford Senior grad Tiffany Picketts has earned a starting spot on the Canada U-20 team who beat the USA 51-5 in the opening game of the CanAm series in Ontario. Picketts scored a try in the Canada victory. The ladies play again Saturday, Aug 23.
There was a fundraiser to help support Picketts at the Abbotsford Rugby Club last Sunday to raise funds for her trip. Nearly 50 people were in attendance to watch the Canada Women play in the their first ever World Cup final and raised almost $600 to help support Tiffany in her opportunity to play for Canada U-20.
Canada’s Under-20 Women’s Team came out flying right from the opening whistle today for their first game of the 2014 Can-Am series. The Canadians left the field with a decisive 51-5 victory over the USA.
Canada came out firing in the opening minutes by dominating possession and territory. Despite their efforts the Canadian women couldn’t translate their control into points as the American team defended relentlessly and prevented a try.
However, the Americans couldn’t hold the Canadian offense back forever as Tiffany Picketts scored in the 17th minute following a breakaway by Breanne Nicholas. A well-worked set play, flyhalf Alex Tessier skipped the ball wide to fullback Nicholas who would then pass to scorer Picketts after slicing through American defenders.
The Canadian squad would command play for the opening 17 minutes as the American side would struggle to make it out of their own half. Strong rucking by the Canadian pack allowed for seemingly endless phases with the ball and forced the Eagles to play a strong defensive game early on.
Such dominant play by the Canadian forwards allowed the backs time to run well-practiced set plays, often creating opportunities out wide. Great dummy-running by inside centre Natalie Lesco drew in many defenders as Nicholas and winger Emma Jada punished the Eagles out wide.
This widespread fast offense paid off for the Canadians again in the 30th minute as speedster Jada scored her first try of the game. Tessier launched another skip ball wide to outside centre Fabriola Forteza who distributed to Nicholas. After sucking in several defenders Nicholas would off-load to Jada for her first try.
The Eagles would retaliate with a try of their own before the half-time whistle after a long rolling offensive. After persistent forward crash ball Mckenzie Hawkins would cross over the whitewash to make the score 10-5 at the half.
While the first half remained tight, the second half proved to be much the opposite.
Canadian pressure resumed immediately after the break and resulted in a try for Colleen Irowa. Following an extremely efficient attack across the field Irowa would smash through a pod of American tacklers to score Canada’s third try of the game. Despite missing her first two conversion attempts, scrum half Jess Neilson placed an expertly struck kick from the sideline to put Canada up 17-5.
Brilliant place kicking by Alex Tessier put immense pressure on the Eagles deep in their own territory throughout the second half. Canadian chasers punished American wingers and often turned the ball over just metres from the American endzone.
Canada wasted no time in capitalizing on these key field positions and crossed over the goal line 6 more times before the contest ended.
The Canadian coaches will be pleased with their team’s performance and will look for a similar result on Saturday.
Canada vs USA
Saturday August 23rd, 2014 7:00 PM ET/ 4:00 ET
Norm Perry Park
Canada’s Roster for U20 Women’s CANAM Series:
1. TIFFANY PICKETTS
2. EMLY TUTTOSI
3. (C) DELEKA MENIN
4. DORIAN KHOURI
5. ALEXANDRA ELLIS
6. SASHA ELLIOT
7. SARAH SVOBODA
8. MADDIE MACKENZIE
9. JESS NEILSON
10. ALEX TESSIER
11. DANIELLE SPICE
12. NATALIE LESCO
13. FABIOLA FORTEZA
14. DEANNA FOSTER
15. BREANNE NICHOLAS
16. COLLEEN IROWA
17. COREEN RILEY
18. CAMILLE PROVENCAL-AUBE
19. LAUREN AGNEW
20. KATIE SVOBODA
21. STEPHANIE BLACK
22. CAROLINE CROSSLEY
23. EMMA JADA