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Canadian women sixth, men 13th at Hong Kong Sevens

New Zealand's Jazmin Hotham tries to avoid tackle by Australia's Madison Ashby during the gold medal match on the final day of rugby action at the HSBC World Rugby Women's Sevens Series at Starlight Stadium in Langford, B.C., on Sunday, May 1, 2022. New Zealand continued its domination of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series on Sunday with both the men and women lifting the cup. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito

HONG KONG — New Zealand continued its domination of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series on Sunday with both the men and women lifting the cup at the Hong Kong Sevens.

It was a record fifth-straight tournament victory for the New Zealand women after finishing runner-up to Australia in the season opener in Dubai. The men have finished on the podium in six of the eight stops to date this season, with three tournament triumphs.

The Canadian women, who stand eighth in the overall standings, placed sixth after losing 17-12 to No. 4 France in the fifth-place playoff. The Canadian men finished tied for 13th and remain 14th in the overall season standings.

The New Zealand men downed Fiji 24-17 to claim their first Hong Kong title since 2014. The New Zealand women defeated Australia 26-17.

The Fiji men have been the class of Hong Kong in recent years, winning 41 straight games at the tournament prior to Sunday's final.

It was the second stop for the men in Hong Kong this season and the first time the women have ever competed there.

The Canadian women dropped into the consolation bracket after losing 45-14 to New Zealand in the cup quarterfinal. They then beat the U.S. 14-7, on tries by Piper Logan and Olivia Apps, before falling to France.

After going 0-3-0 in a tough Pool A featuring No. 2 Argentina, No. 3 Fiji and No. 7 Samoa, the Canadian men lost 17-0 to No. 8 Ireland before beating No. 16 Japan 19-12 with Josiah Morra scoring two tries and Will Percillier adding another.

Canada finished off with a 17-7 loss to No. 17 Hong Kong, making just its second appearance of the season.

The Canada men find themselves in a relegation fight at the business end of the sevens season.

The World Series is reducing the number of men's core teams to 12 from 16 next season to align with the women's competition and the Olympic field.

After a stop in Singapore, the 15th-ranked core team will be relegated following the men's 10th round May 12-14 in Toulouse. The teams ranked 12th, 13th and 14th at the end of Toulouse will enter a four-team relegation playoff together with the Challenger Series 2023 winners at the final round May 20-21 in London.

The relegation playoff winner will become the 12th core team on the 2024 Series, while the other three teams will enter their respective Regional Sevens Championships in order to qualify for the 2024 World Rugby Sevens Challenger Series.


This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 2, 2023

The Canadian Press

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