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Moyse clinches it for Canada

The Canada women's rugby side edged a tight first test on home soil last night with a 14-8 victory over rivals the USA.

Fresh from winter Olympic victory earlier this year, Heather Moyse (pictured) scored the winning try at the death to mark a successful return to the game after two years off.

With just a point between these two sides when they last played in January in a game which the USA won, this was always going to be a tight encounter and so it proved to be.

Both sides played conservative rugby in the first half with the Americans keeping the ball in tight and choosing to go through their powerful back.

It was the host team though who managed to break the deadlock before the first half whistle sounded when backrow Kelly Russell crossed the line with her first try for Canada. A successful conversion for flyhalf Anna Schnell gave the Canadians a 7 - 0 lead.

The USA upped their game in the second half and found themselves camped on Canada's 5m line. Their efforts were rewarded with a try when powerful flanker Phaidra Knight dotted down near the posts. Replacement flyhalf Stephanie Bruce missed the conversion, but made up for it when she hit a 35m penalty to give the Americans the lead, 8-7.

Canada almost hit right back with captain and winger Maria Gallo came very close to touching down before she was bundled into touch at the corner flag.

On the subsequent play, the ball made its way wide through several sets of hands before landing in Moyse's who had been subbed in just after half time. The leading scorer of the 2006 World Cup looked to go wide but stepped back inside and caught both the US winger and fullback off guard.

Winning Olympic gold on home soil vaulted Moyse into the spotlight, adding pressure and public scrutiny to an already challenging task. Moyse acknowledged the microscope, but admits she was more worried about letting her teammates down.

"It's a team of girls who have put their faith in me coming back and that was the biggest reason why I was anxious and most nervous coming back in this game. Two years away from the team is a long time. It feels good to get those first-game nerves out of my system and now I can just concentrate and play rugby because I love it instead of worrying about all of the other things that are surrounding it."

The two sides will play again later this week.


Canada: 14 (7)

Tries: Kelly Russell, Heather Moyse

Conversions: Anna Schnell, Ashley Patzer

USA: 8 (0)

Tries: Phaidra Knight

Penalties: Stephanie Bruce

Details thanks to Meghan Mutrie