A third new stop on the HSBC World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series in 2016-17 and a third tournament in a row when North American pride will be at stake with Canada set to face neighbours USA in a mouth-watering Pool C match on Saturday.
Canada have won both meetings with the Women’s Eagles this season, 21-17 in the first all-North American Cup final in Sydney in February and then a more comfortable 31-7 victory in the bronze medal match in Las Vegas a month later.
They have met 15 times in series history with Canada only having tasted defeat once, ironically in the Plate final on home soil in Langford in 2015. That loss ended a run of seven successive victories since the sides played out a 12-12 draw in their first meeting in Houston in 2013.
As the table below shows, the most common stage at which the teams have faced each other is in the pool stages with five, in stark contrast to trans-Tasman rivals Australia and New Zealand who have met each other more times in Cup finals (nine) than other rounds combined (seven).
Canada v USA previous meetings
|Third place / Bronze medal match||2||Canada|
Canada v USA head-to-head record
|Series||Venue||Round||Result (winner first)|
|2012-13||Houston||Pool stages||Canada 12-12 USA|
|2012-13||Guangzhou||Third place play-off||Canada 17-5 USA|
|2012-13||Amsterdam||Cup quarter-final||Canada 19-5 USA|
|2013-14||Atlanta||Pool stages||Canada 31-0 USA|
|2013-14||Atlanta||Cup quarter-final||Canada 26-12 USA|
|2013-14||Guangzhou||Pool stages||Canada 35-7 USA|
|2013-14||Amsterdam||Cup quarter-final||Canada 28-19 USA|
|2014-15||Dubai||Cup quarter-final||Canada 36-0 USA|
|2014-15||Langford||Plate final||USA 19-12 Canada|
|2014-15||London||Cup semi-final||Canada 17-14 USA|
|2014-15||Amsterdam||Cup semi-final||Canada 19-14 USA|
|2015-16||Dubai||Pool stages||Canada 35-5 USA|
|2016-17||Sydney||Cup final||Canada 21-17 USA|
|2016-17||Las Vegas||Bronze medal match||Canada 31-7 USA|
This means that Canada boast an 86.7 per cent win ratio against their neighbours and have scored 358 points to USA’s 151 in their 15 meetings to date, which equates to an average score of 24-10.
Canada have scored 2,924 points – 636 more than USA – and won 95 of their 138 matches on the series, so in Kitakyushu could join Olympic champions Australia and series leaders New Zealand as the only teams to score more than 3,000 points and record 100 wins in series history.
The Women’s Eagles were the first of the North American sides to reach a Cup final, on home soil in Houston in the inaugural series of 2012-13. However, they lost that 29-12 to England and have also suffered defeat in their other finals, against New Zealand (Atlanta, 2015) and Canada (Sydney, 2017).
Canada have featured in seven Cup finals in total and it took them until their fourth appearance to taste victory, the 2014-15 series finale in Amsterdam where they edged Australia 20-17. They have won their last two, in Clermont-Ferrand and Sydney, to give them a won three, lost four record.
Delving a little deeper, it’s no surprise to see Canada’s pocket rocket Ghislaine Landry as the leading point and try scorer for her team in their rivalry with USA, having crossed for eight tries – two more than Bianca Farella, Jen Kish and Karen Paquin – for a tally of 58 points in total.
Canada captain Landry took over from New Zealand try-scoring machine Portia Woodman as the all-time leading point scorer in women’s series history in Las Vegas last month, passing through the 700-point mark with a 16-point haul, including two tries, in the bronze medal match against USA.
Victoria Folayan leads the way for USA with five tries and 25 points against Canada, although Naya Tapper is hot on her heels after scoring a hat-trick – and being named the HSBC Player of the Final – in a losing cause in Sydney.
Canada's squad for the Kitakyushu Sevens are set to boast just over double the number of tournaments as their neighbours, who will field two debutants in Megan Sanders and Jordan Gray. That means that seven of the USA players will have five or less tournaments to their name going into round four, compared to only one – Breanne Nicholas – for Canada, who have eight with 10 or more events in their squad.
Who do you think will come out on top when Canada and USA come face to face again in Kitakyushu? Join the conversation @WorldRugby7s using #Kitakyushu7s.