Canada’s Women’s Rugby World Cup team scored a record 16 tries on route to defeating debutants Hong Kong 98-0 to open the tournament in Dublin, Ireland. Next up is Wales on Sunday. (Photo courtesy Rugby Canada)

Canada’s Women’s Rugby World Cup team scored a record 16 tries

Team Canada prepares to take on Wales on Sunday

Canada opened the 2017 Women’s Rugby World Cup with a strong showing, rolling over Hong Kong with a 98-0 win.

Hong Kong, competing in their first World Cup, was no match for the Canadian squad, who scored 16 tries.

“I’m really proud of the team and the effort they put in,” said captain Kelly Russell in a statement. “There are some things to fix going forward, but we’ll get there.”

By halftime they were toting a 46-point lead.

Third in the World Rugby rankings and coach by Francois Ratier, the Canadians rolled out the bench during the second half but still added another 52 points to the scoreboard.

“It’s important to get all of our girls out on the pitch because we want these girls to come up and bring up the pace when they step on and that’s exactly what they did,” Russell said. “Across the board anyone of those girls can be in that starting lineup. It’s just starters and finishers.”

Wednesday’s game was the first international test match between the two nations. Hong Kong is ranked 23rd in the world.

“Credit to Hong Kong,” Russell said. “They were really good in the rucks. They gave it to us a couple times and that’s something we’re going to have to clean up going forward.”

Magali Harvey put up five tries and Russell had a hat trick. Elissa Alarie, Amanda Thornborough and Andrea Burk tallied two tries apiece while Alex Tessier and Brittany Waters each crossed the line once.

But Harvey didn’t stop there. She was named player of the match after scoring 41 total points with eight conversions. Second half replacement Brianna Miller also slotted a conversion.

The Canadian women will face off against Wales on Sunday before taking on the number one ranked – and four-time World Cup champions – New Zealand on Aug. 17 in their final match of pool play.

With their debut this year, Hong Kong is the 19th nation to compete in the Women’s Rugby World Cup. Canada is one of only four nations to have participated in all seven editions of the international tournament.

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