Canada's women's team advanced to the quarter-finals at the World Rugby Women's Seven Series in Paris after a solid showing in the round robin Friday in Paris.
They'll play the United States on Saturday at 10:08 a.m. ET.
Canada, which finished 2-1, began the tournament with a renewed sense of purpose after some struggles during the last two tournaments, winning its first two games in convincing fashion over Russia and Fiji.
Canada followed those wins up with a tough 31-14 loss at the hands of first-placed Australia. Charity Williams and Sara Kaljuvee scored tries for Canada.
FT: Canada's Women's Sevens Team fall to the number 1 seeds, <a href="https://twitter.com/Aussie7s?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Aussie7s</a> in their final pool B fixture. Stay tuned for day 2 details! <br><br>🇨🇦14-31🇦🇺<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ParisSevens?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#ParisSevens</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/RugbyCA?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#RugbyCA</a>🍁 <a href="https://t.co/VEkNhBA2iY">pic.twitter.com/VEkNhBA2iY</a>
Earlier in the day, the Canadians looked electric in a 31-5 thrashing of Russia. Ghislaine Landry scored two tries, while Britt Benn, Caroline Crossley and Kayla Molschi also scored.
Shortly after. in the second game, Canada surrendered the first score to Fiji but scored three straight tries en route to a 21-7 win.
Bianca Farella scored two of Canada's tries, and Breanne Nicholas added another.
Podium slipping away
Since the inception of the World Rugby Women's Sevens Series in 2012, the Canadian women's team has never finished below third place in the overall standings.
But after disappointing fifth and 11th place finishes earlier this year in Langford, B.C., and Kitakyushu, Japan, respectively, the Canadians find themselves in fourth place entering the final tournament in Paris.
With 44 points, Canada trails Australia (74), New Zealand (70) and France (54) for podium contention.
It's an unfamiliar situation for what has undeniably been the country's most successful rugby team, with accolades that include a bronze medal from the 2016 Summer Olympics and frequent appearances on World Series podiums.
"It's been a bit of a roller-coaster this year with the group," said Britt Benn before the tournament, who returns to the squad after missing the previous tournament in Langford due to injury.
"We're not changing how we play, we're just making some adjustments here and there."
The Canadians' next test will be the United States as they look to stay alive in the tournament.
The Americans also finished 2-1, beating Japan and Spain before losing to host France in their final game.
For Benn, this season has been about "getting comfortable with the uncomfortable" in a sport with a razor-thin margin for error.
"When we dipped below top three, I think that was a big challenge," the 29-year-old from Napanee, Ont., said. "We just have to tighten up our game a little bit and make sure that we don't make those defensive errors or offensive errors."
Should host France finish fifth or better this weekend, the Canadians would fall short of that proverbial podium. Even a tournament win wouldn't guarantee a spot in the top three for the squad.
Regardless, the round robin was a confidence builder for the squad, who will need to have an exceptional quarter-final game if they want to avoid falling off the podium for the first-time ever.