It was speed versus strength during the EDSS girls’ rugby game against the Jacob Hespeler Hawks on Monday, with the Lancers running circles around their opponents.
The big win, 41-17, gave the Lancers a much needed boost of confidence after losing their first two regular season games. A typical season sees six games for the Lancers but because of wet weather conditions and poor fields to play on the season has been cut in half.
“This was our first home game of the season,” said coach Tyler McIntyre. “I’m glad we got a game win at home because all the girls’ friends could see them play, that’s what they strived for ever since training began in February.”
The Lancers opened strong scoring three unanswered tries, two from Tracy Weber and one from Vanessa Lachance.
Lachance would continue to dominate the Hawks throughout the game, finding holes in the backs and racking up 14 points for the Lancers.
“We have the speed and saw the openings in their team and knew how to run through them,” said Lachance.
She credits coach McIntyre with keeping the girls spirits up and training them in the school hallways.
“Our backs, speed and endurance were there, it’s a consequence of being inside and the girls did a great job of their training and that is what led them to get the win today,” said McIntyre.
McIntyre said he knows his team needs to improve especially when it comes to wrecking and kicks.
“Our forwards have to work as a real cohesive group and we have to work on our wrecking, we have good tackles we just have to make sure we can wreck and win the wrecks if they get a breakaway run.”
As for kicking, McIntyre said it was not his main focus this season. With the bad weather this season the girls could not practice outdoors.
“I’d love to get the two points but they won’t let us out even to do kicks, we tried in the gym a couple of times, but it is not quite the same, we have a couple of legs, a couple people that are good so we are going to concentrate on that in the future.”
Hawks coach Steve Domm agreed weather has been a factor this season in preparing his squad.
“It is very tough to prepare a team this year with the field conditions, not being able to practice on grass, it’s tough to keep the girls motivated, this has been a very odd year and the girls are frustrated, they were just more excited to play rugby rather than the fact that they lost,” said Domm.
The Lancers advanced to the quarterfinals in Preston next Monday with two playoff wins, defeating Waterloo’s Sir John A. Macdonald and Kitchener’s Huron Heights.