CHULA VISTA, Calif. â€” Lock forward Tyson Beukeboom powered her way to three second-half tries as Canada dispatched the U.S. Eagles 39-5 Tuesday in the opening game of the Can-Am women’s rugby series.
After the U.S. tied the game at 5-5, Canada reeled off 34 straight points with 29 of those in a second half that was one-way traffic.
Karen Paquin, Carolyn McEwen, captain Kelly Russell and Brianna Miller also scored tries for third-ranked Canada on a breezy day at the Chula Vista Elite Athlete Training Centre in suburban San Diego. Magali Harvey added two conversions.
Six of the seven tries came from the forwards as the Canadians battered the Americans from close quarters.
Alev Kelter scored the lone try for the seventh-ranked Americans.
Canada improved to 17-18-0 all-time against the U.S. The Canadian women defeated the U.S. 33-5 the last time they met, at the 2016 Women’s Rugby Super Series in Salt Lake City.
Canadian coach Francois Ratier’s matchday 23 featured 14 players who saw action in the 2015 Rugby World Cup final. Ten of Tuesday’s starting 15 played in that 21-9 loss to England.
The Can-Am series is part of Canada’s buildup for the Rugby World Cup in August in Ireland, where the Canadian women have been drawn in a group with No. 1 New Zealand, No. 9 Wales and No. 23 Hong Kong.
The Canadians will travel to New Zealand in early June to face No. 2 England, No. 6 Australia and the host Black Ferns for one final pre-tournament test.
Both teams launched attacks early in the first half Tuesday, probing deep in their opponents’ half.
Paquin, a member of Canada’s bronze-medallist sevens squad at the Rio Olympics, opened the scoring with a slicing run as Canada capitalized on an American kick that was charged down.
Kelter replied soon after, capping off an attack launched by a rampaging line break from No. 8 Jordan Gray.
McEwen restored the lead late in the half, diving over the line to make it 10-5 at the break as Canada began to take control.
American flanker Christiane Pheil was yellow-carded early in the second half and Beukeboom made the home side pay soon after, crashing over the line. With the Americans still down a player, Russell drove over from the back of the scrum to make it 20-5.
Canada kept coming but was driven back by some big U.S. tackles. But the American defence buckled again as Beukeboom bulldozed over to cap a multi-phase attack.
The replacement lock then scored her third try, cutting through the heart of the U.S. defence.
Miller, a substitute scrum half, accounted for Canada’s seventh try as she darted over from a scrum near the goal-line.
Brittany Kassil came off the bench to win her first cap for Canada.
Canada (with club and hometown)
Carolyn McEwen, Burnaby, Vancouver; Laura Russell, Toronto Nomads, Bolton, Ont.; DaLeaka Menin, Calgary Hornets, Vulcan, Alta.; Kayla Mack, Saskatoon Wild Oats, Saskatoon; Latoya Blackwood, Westshore RFC, Montreal; Jacey Grusnick, Aurora Barbarians, Alliston, Ont.; Karen Paquin, Club de Rugby de Quebec, Quebec City; Kelly Russell (capt.), Toronto Nomads, Bolton, Ont.; Chelsea Guthrie, Stratchona Druids, Edmonton; Emily Belchos, Westshore RFC, Innisfil, Ont.; Frederique Rajotte, Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue RFC, Montreal; Andrea Burk, Capilano RFC, North Vancouver; Amanda Thornborough, Westshore RFC, Brandon, Man.; Magali Harvey, Club de Rugby de Quebec, Quebec City; Julianne Zussman, Castaway Wanderers, Montreal.
Jane Kirby, Highland Fergus Rugby Club, Brampton, Ont.; Brittany Kassil, Guelph Redcoats, Guelph, Ont.; Olivia DeMerchant, Woodstock Wildmen, Mapledale, N.B.; Tyson Beukeboom, Aurora Barbarians, Uxbridge, Ont.; Cindy Nelles, Belleville Bulldogs, Belleville, Ont.; Brianna Miller, Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue RFC, Pointe-Claire, Que.; Brittany Waters, Meraloma Athletic Club, Vancouver; Elissa Alarie, Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue RFC, Trois Rivieres, Que.
Tiffany Faaee (capt.), Joanna Kitlinski, Catherine Benson, Stacey Bridges, Alycia Washington, Christiane Pheil, Nicole Strasko, Jordan Gray, Joanne Fa’avesi, Megan Foster, Naya Tapper, Sylvia Braaten, Alev Kelter, Kristen Thomas, Jess Wooden.
Phaidra Knight, Naima Reddick, Jamila Reinhardt, Molly Kinsella, Sara Parsons, Annakaren Pedraza, Kayla Canett, Nicole Heavirland.
The Canadian Press