Corrigan making the most of world cup opportuinty
For Saracens’ Alysha Corrigan, victory over the USA last weekend was a significant result, even more so as she was named Player of the Match following an inspired performance.
Corrigan has had to bide her time so far during this world cup, but the wing burst into life against her country’s North American rivals, as Canada secured top spot in the group.
“They’re such big rivals,” Corrigan explained. “We knew it wasn’t going to be easy and we’ve had some super close battles over the years. To top the pool was our goal heading into the group stages and to do it by beating the USA is the cherry on top.”
Reflecting on her performance against the US, Corrigan admitted that it had been “pretty overwhelming” to play in front of her family at a world cup.
“I’ve had a few days to think about it now and reflect. These are the days that you dream of as a player. Being given the start and then putting in the performance we did as well was pretty emotional. The support has been amazing as well. It was pretty overwhelming but special to do it in front of my family.”
Such is the nature of the world cup, with twelve teams and three pools, that Canada will again face the USA in the quarter finals. Corrigan highlighted that it will be a different dynamic playing the same side again, but that the mindset within the camp was firmly fixed on winning the match.
“In the pool stages, you spend so much time analysing how you can execute three wins and get those bonus points to get the best possible seeding. But with knockout rugby, anything can happen. In some ways, it takes some pressure away in terms of going after tries, as you just need to execute well and play smart to try and win.”
A potential semi-final with the Red Roses awaits the winner of the clash, with Corrigan accepting that “the stakes are high,” as Canada look to reach the semi-finals again.
The Rugby World Cup has been the centre of attention over in the host nation, as well as back in England. Corrigan was quick to praise the interest from the fans in New Zealand and recounted how a local had approached her to speak about the tournament in the street a few days ago.
“New Zealand has put on a great tournament. It’s a dream to be playing in a world cup in a rugby nation. Everyone here is so invested. We’ve had people coming up to speak to us about the tournament in the street as well, which has been super cool and loads of fun. But once we’re on the field, it’s business first.”
With Saracens stars having represented seven nations in the tournament, Corrigan admitted that there had been “a few coffee dates,” with fellow Saracens from other countries throughout the tournament so far.
“It’s been really cool. We have a diverse group from so many different nations, so it’s nice to play against people you know and come up against different styles. It’s always nice to catch up with everyone afterwards as well. We’ve snuck out for a few coffee dates here and there too. We may be representing different countries, but we’re all still together.”