Rugby 7’s Pan Am Teams Claim Gold & Silver
Canada’s Rugby 7’s teams made quick work of their Pan Am opponents, with the women’s team even having had managed to successfully defend its 2015 Toronto title. This after Canada beat the United States to the victory post in a 24-10 women’s final, thanks to a hat trick of tries, an additional try and two stellar conversions by Asia-Hogan Rochester and Breanne Nicholas respectively.
Women’s team captain Kayla Moleshi believes that she could not have imagined a more favourable outcome or asked for more commitment and resilience from the team. She spoke proudly of the fact that her team members had only allowed 2 tries to slip through their fingers for the entire duration of the tournament. She jokingly quipped that the USA did manage to “get two on us” but quickly added that this was OK!
Win Or Lose – Pan Am Is Critical
Men’s team captain Hirayama is every bit as proud of his own as is Moleshi of hers, despite their having not finished up on quite as high a note as their female mates. Still, said the captain after the match, even though Argentina did manage to beat the Canadian squad to a 33-10 victory, many of the players were frightfully young and being granted the opportunity to play at Pan Am was a valuable experience nonetheless. And even so, they still managed to bring home silver.
It must be mentioned that the men’s side was without many of its trustworthy supports, including Justin Douglas and Connor Braid. Even so, the guys put up a sterling performance and managed to make the best of the talent available to them at the time.
Head coach Henry Paul pointed out after the commendable display witnessed on the turf that Pan Am was about much more than winning any particular match. Paul said that without Pan Am’s, programs would not be able to grow at all. The growing of extra numbers and high-level events is a critical aspect of success, concluded Paul, and Pan Am offered just about the best opportunity to do so.
Performing Above & Beyond
Women’s head coach Morgan Williams commented on the fact that the women’s side too had do make do without some of its bigger names. Players like Brittany Benn and Karen Paquin weren’t able to compete, and according to Williams, the very fact that the team managed to play its way to Pan Am victory nonetheless, is a supreme testimony to exactly how deep the raw talent really runs.