Volume 92, Issue 15

Tuesday, September 29, 1998



Women ruggers struggle at York

Tom Baumgartner/Gazette

LOOK OUT DON KING IS RIGHT BEHIND ME. The Western women's rugby team was a little distracted on Sunday, leaving the team to rely more on individual efforts.

By Justin Klein

Gazette Staff

Western's women's rugby team continued their unbeaten season, but on Saturday afternoon against York, the team was far from perfect.

The Mustangs went into the game with momentum and a game plan, after winning their first two games of the season. The strategy was to suck the opposing York players into the middle. Doing this would allow the Western scrum to swing it out to an open player who could potentially run down an open field. However, the team found themselves confused and playing individual games.

"We played really well the first two games because we followed the game plan and we did what we were suppose to do," said a somewhat disappointed Western head coach Natascha Wesch. "Today, it seems like we came out flat and I think that our heads weren't into it."

Nonetheless, Western did manage to pull off their third victory of the season and this was done by individual efforts. Co-captain Ang Donovan and hooker Mandi Batte really put out 110 per cent efforts, which was evident when their overwhelming talent led them to break through multiple tackles. Co-captain Tamara Curtis and swift-footed Kathy Atkinson also played well and helped to contribute individually to Western's victory.

Another key to Western's success was the perfect chemistry between the two Donovan sisters. Playing for the last four years together, the sisters at times appeared to be as one, seeming to know at all times what the other was going to do.

"There are times when I am running up the ball and without hearing her voice I will just turn and throw it to her," Kelly Donovan said. "It is almost like we have this sixth sense."

Although Western head coach Natascha Wesch felt her team played a sub-par game, York's head coach Allen Hawes, felt differently about his team. Coming into the game as the underdog, he was not expecting such a close game.

"I think today our team played remarkably well for the third week of the season. I am quite happy that we scored three tries against a third ranked team," he said.

Wesch was looking at the game as "a game that was needed to be played" and she found certain aspects the team needs to improve on for next Sunday's game at Brock.

"We've obviously got a lot of work to do this week," Wesch said. "We must focus on improvement if we are going to contend for the CIAUs and clinch first place in the league."

To Contact The Sports Department: gazette.sports@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright The Gazette 1998