The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Canada's women's rugby squad fall 16-8 against defending World Cup champions

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TAURANGA, New Zealand - Canada's Women's rugby squad continued their New Zealand tour on Tuesday with a 16-8 loss to the Black Ferns.

Canada was playing its second match of its three-test tour and was coming off a 22-0 win over Australia on June 6.

Playing under wet conditions, Canada put up a valiant effort against the defending World Cup champions and made it close in the end, but ultimately fell short.

Head coach Francois Ratier is hoping that some changes before his team's rematch against the Black Ferns on Saturday can produce a better result.

"We now have to review the game with the players and address some details to be better," said Ratier. "There is nothing that is unfixable."

Despite the loss, Canada came away from the contest confident that it can compete with the best teams in the world.

"This game was all about building confidence, to recognize the fact that we can beat any team in the world," said Forwards coach Gary Dukelow.

Dukelow was most pleased with how Canada finished the match strong, as Mandy Marchak's try gave Canada a chance to make things interesting in the final moments after trailing 16-3.

"Pressure is good because it makes you better at this level and the fact that we finished strong indicates that we have the will to win," said Dukelow.

The Black Ferns connected on a penalty kick four minutes into the match to go ahead 3-0, but Canada's Magali Harvey responded with the equalizer to make it 3-3 soon after.

Before halftime, the Black Ferns added another penalty kick and their first try for an 11-3 lead and then put up another try early in the second half for a 16-3 advantage.

Canada will finish up their New Zealand tour against the Black Ferns Saturday in Whakatane, New Zealand.

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