The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Canadian women lose to New Zealand 33-21 in final World Cup warmup

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WHAKATANE, New Zealand - Canada's women's rugby team finished its three-test tour of New Zealand with a 33-21 loss to the Black Ferns on Saturday.

After defeating Australia last Thursday, Canada completed their series with two straight losses to the defending World Cup champions.

The match was Canada's final tune-up before this summers' Women's Rugby World Cup in France. Canada opens pool play against Spain on Aug. 1.

New Zealand jumped out to an early 26-0 lead before fullback Elissa Alarie intercepted a pass at the Canadian 22-metre line and went the length of the pitch for Canada's first points of the match. The conversion from Magali Harvey made it a 26-7 score at the half.

New Zealand opened the second half with a try just three minutes in, reclaiming the 26-point lead.

Harvey, who also plays on Canada's sevens team, then showed off her speed and footwork beating two defenders down the sideline to bring Canada within 19 points.

With head coach Francois Ratier making six second-half substitutions, Canada was able to put some charge forward. Hilary Leith touched down for her first try of the tour and Harvey's third conversion of the match made it a 33-21 game.

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