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The Best Rugby Player In The World Might Just Be From Canmore

All eyes are on Krissy Scurfield, a talented and gritty rugby player from Canmore

Canada went head to head with Australia at the HSBC SVNS Series in Vancouver last month in the 2024 Vancouver Sevens rugby tournament. 

SVNS is an annual series of international rugby sevens tournaments by World Rugby featuring national sevens teams.

Each rugby sevens match involves two teams of seven players and is split into two seven-minute halves. 

This year marked the tournament’s ninth year in Vancouver and the second year in a row that the event featured women’s and men’s tournaments simultaneously. 

Over three days, 24 teams, including 12 women’s and 12 men’s, played 64 matches, but only two were crowned champions. 

All eyes were on Canada’s women’s team on February 25 as they faced off against Australia. The Aussies arethe top-ranked team in the series with 90 points.

Try and Try Again

Canmore’s Krissy Scurfield played a big role in leading the team to a 19-14 victory over the Australian frontrunners giants. 

The 20-year-old athlete’s biggest strength is her breakneck speed. She is one of the league’s top try scorers and is tied for ninth for most this season. 

Canada’s Women’s Team @krissyyolo Instagram

A try in rugby is equivalent to a touchdown in football.

Scurfield is Canada’s leading scorer, with 17 tries this season. She proved she is a force to be reckoned with in Canada’s intense bronze-medal match against Australia. 

Scurfield received a pass from teammate Chole Daniels in the opening minute and fended off Australia’s Maddison Levi.

Scurfield scurried 65 metres down the pitch in mere seconds to score the first try in the match and set the tone for the game. 

“I was running full speed, and I don’t think the defence adjusted to it right away. So I mean, as soon as the ball was in the air, I knew I had to just keep running on to the ball with speed,” said Scurfield.

Canada’s women’s team had a rough start to the tournament, losing their first match 26-14 against France. 

But afterwards, the team’s road to bronze was paved by victories. The team played a flawless 38-0 game against Great Britain in their second match. 

The next day, Canada beat Spain 22-5 and then the USA 12-10 in the quarterfinals, placing the team in the semifinals. 

New Zealand ended Canada’s winning streak on February 25. The team fought hard but were defeated by the Kiwis, who closed the match 15-7. 

Could Be the Best in the World

The New Zealand women’s team went on to win the tournament. Canada’s bronze medal finish marks Scurfield’s first time on the podium. 

Canada may not have won gold, but Scurfield’s talent did not go unnoticed. 

Scurfield was named a player on the Vancouver Sevens’ Dream Team, the tournament’s seven best players, for the second time in her career. 

Scurfield’s coach, Jack Hanratty, praised the young athlete, stating, “I think she could be the best player in the world. I really mean that.”

With her raw talent and athleticism, Hanratty believes the sky’s the limit for Scurfield. In addition to her blinding speed, Scurfield hits like a truck. 

“If she needs to make a big impact tackle, she can do it, and she can also finish. It’s incredible to have both those skills,” explained Hanratty. 

She has also honed her ability to steal the ball from other players, which can make all the difference in a seven’s match. 

The Canada women’s team competed in the HSBC Los Angeles Sevens over the weekend and finished fourth. 

The team currently ranks fifth in the series with 62 points. The next tournament in the series is the Hong Kong Sevens, which will start on April 5.

Only the top eight teams get to compete in the Grand Final, where the season winner will be crowned. 

Can Scurfield and her team hang on to their spot at the Grand Final?

Canada has a fighting chance. With the best player in the world on our side, the skies the limit. 

Krissy Scurfield gritting through the pain of a broken nose to play out an Olympic Qualification match against Mexico | Rugby Canada
Krissy Scurfield gritting through the pain of a broken nose to play out an Olympic Qualification match against Mexico | Rugby Canada

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