The Canadian women’s rugby sevens team got off to a roaring start at the HSBC World Sevens Series in Dubai, but needed to hold on in the second half for a 24-19 win over Russia on Thursday.
A pair of tries from Bianca Farella and one from captain Ghislaine Landry paced the Canadians to a 19-0 lead at halftime.
Russian captain Alena Mikhaltsova broke the Canadians’ monopoly on possession in the second half, getting her team on the board and cutting the Canadian lead to 12 points.
Elena Zorokova scored another to trim the Canadian lead to seven before Charity Williams put the finishing touches on an offload-heavy control play to stretch the lead back to 12.
Zorokova added another and a conversion but time expired on the Russian comeback attempt.
The Canadian women return to action on Friday with their final pool matches against Brazil (12:44 a.m. ET), and the U.S. (6:18 a.m. ET).
The men’s team begin their tournament on Thursday at 8:06 a.m. ET with a match against Samoa, and then on Friday face New Zealand (2:36 a.m. ET) and Wales (8:06 a.m. ET).