Rain slows down opening day at 2016 IFAF Flag Football World Championships
Canada’s men and women off to promising starts in Miami
Canada’s men’s and women’s flag football national teams were scheduled to play two games apiece on Thursday, however, the weather limited each team to a single contest. Canada’s men were able to play through heavy rain on-route to a 27-7 victory over Korea while Canada’s women opened with a strong 32-7 win against France after having their game pushed back.
The conditions shut down play around mid-day as a continuous heavy downpour made the playing surface at Brian Piccolo Park in Hollywood, Florida too wet to continue. As a result of the weather delay, Canada’s men’s matchup with Italy and women’s matchup against the U.S. have been moved from Thursday to Friday.
Canadian men off to a good start
Under the heavy precipitation, Canada’s men’s national team opened their tournament early Thursday morning with a 27-7 win over (South) Korea. Quarterback Chase Bradshaw threw for four touchdowns including strikes to Kit Hillis and Mitch Stevens.
“We found our offensive rhythm early but when the rain started coming down as hard as it did our execution became more difficult. You could see it on both sides as everyone had trouble scoring,” said Canada’s men’s flag football national team head coach, Chad Palmer.
With the revised schedule, the squad will need to wait another day to take on rival Italy who defeated Canada in both the 2010 and 2014 men’s bronze medal games, albeit against a completely different roster.
“We’re not focused on what happened in previous years,” explained Palmer. “It’s a must win game for us — we’re focused on finishing first in our pool.”
Canada’s men open Friday’s action with another tough matchup as they face reigning silver medalist Mexico.
Women battle through weather delay
A six-hour delay in the women’s national team’s tournament opener against France did little to dampen an experienced Canada squad that’s core has remained intact for almost a decade.
Canada pulled ahead early following a pair of touchdown strikes from quarterback Vanessa Birri to Joanie Lanthier and Audrey Sauvé-Desjardins. France narrowed the deficit to one touchdown until Émilie Carrier ran the ball into the end zone to retain the two score Canada advantage. Lanthier and Sauvé-Desjardins added their second majors on the night to make the final score 32-7 for Canada.
“The game was good in general but we were a bit rusty and you could tell,” said women’s national team head coach François Bougie. “France has really improved since the last worlds and they gave us a good first game to start the tournament.”
Canada’s matchup with the U.S., originally scheduled for Thursday afternoon, has been moved to Friday at noon. It’s a rematch of the 2014 gold medal game.
“We won’t change our preparation to play Team USA tomorrow (Friday),” said Bougie. “We don’t want to show them too much in case we play them again in finals.”
|Canada’s revised schedule at the 2016 IFAF FFWC (all times local [ET], subject to change)
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