The score might reflect a rocky start to the season but the coaching staff with the Wetaskiwin Composite High School girls rugby game are pleased with what they saw on the field.
During the first game of the season, the Sabres fell to the Lacombe Rams 68-10 April 24 at Norm Brown Field.
“While this doesn’t sound like what most people would think of as a good start to the season, when you take into account that just over half of our players are in Grade 9 and have never played before, it was a really good start to the season,” said assistant coach Heidi McFadzen. “They were able to implement many of the things we have been working on in practice, and recognize some areas that we need to focus on in future practices. All of the players were able to touch the ball, and to be involved in contact, whether tackling or rucking/mauling.”
Rugby is a different sort of sport, said McFadzen, in that the kind of physical contact involved isn’t something the team can really work on in practice.
“It’s one thing to do it in practice, it’s another thing to do it against another team, a girl you don’t know, someone who is not already a friend,” she said. “I was quite impressed with the girls. They were excited to play and they were engaged.”
McFadzen said the coaching staff will be working on a few things and doing some fine tuning heading into their next game, which takes place May 1 in Olds.
“We’ve got four back for their third year and that’s the first time we’ve ever had that,” said McFadzen. “They’ve got experience and they’re willing to share that and teach the younger girls.”
Following the game in Olds the Sabres will face the Pirates 7s in Edmonton before being back on Norm Brown Field May 7 for a game against St. Joseph’s. Game starts at 5:30 p.m.