Volume 93, Issue 35

Tuesday, November 2, 1999


SPORTS

The rugby party's over

Western makes U of T feel blue

Men's rugby keep movin' on up

Champs explode in semifinal

Purple and White 'Stangs lose to red and blue Gaels

The rugby party's over




©Tom Baumgartner/Gazette
WOW, I LOVE CROWD SURFING, DON'T YOU? Western's women's rugby team could not surf their way to victory as they lost to the Waterloo Athenas.


By Wes Brown

Gazette Staff

Say it ain't so, Western. Say it ain't so.

Unfortunately, it was, as the Mustang women's rugby team went down to the Waterloo Athenas 26-17 in the Ontario University Athletics' semifinal game Saturday.

Western head coach Natascha Wesch said the difference in the game came down to basic skill mistakes, such as tackling and ball handling – things the team should have done better.

"We played really well as a team, for the most part. Waterloo did some good stuff, but we had the better overall team. It was just the fact that nobody made the tackles. I think we had around 20 arm or missed tackles in the game, three led to trys," Wesch said.

Western's loss means they will play for third place against McMaster University, who lost to the University of Guelph in the other semi-final game. Even with the obvious disappointment, Wesch said she is confident her team will be ready for next Saturday's bronze medal game.

"It's going to be tough. We're going to have to motivate the people on the team again to finish with the bronze. This week we're going to have fun in practice and end off on a positive note. Hopefully, we'll have everything ready for Saturday," Wesch said.

Western co-captain and fullback Andrea Haney said last Saturday's game featured two teams wanting the same thing. She added the end result came down to Waterloo wanting it just a little more. "The outcome might have been different if there weren't so many injuries on the team. We had a couple of people playing out of position and they were able to capitalize on our mistakes," Haney said.

As a team, Haney said Waterloo played well, however, it was a matter of the Athenas' individual player effort that beat a full team effort by the Mustangs.

Western's other co-captain and flanker Angie Donovan agreed and said the Mustangs played the way they had played all season but in the end, their team effort could not stop the incredible game of one Waterloo player in particular, fullback Heather Moyse. "Their fullback scored three out of their four trys. We had the talent and the tools to beat them but just couldn't pull it off in the end," she said.

The Mustangs last faced Waterloo at the beginning of the season, a game Western ended up winning 12-5.

Donovan said Saturday's loss discouraged the team, however it wasn't until Wesch said they would not be going to the Canadian Interuniversity Athletic Union finals that the real impact was felt.

"It was like an end to the last four years of my life. The loss is over and there's nothing else we can do about it. All I can say is that there's no way we're finishing in fourth place," Donovan said.

Waterloo head coach Eric Ciezar said the game went pretty well considering both teams were nervous, knowing the winner was probably going to the CIAU finals. "It was a little bit sloppy, but both teams were evenly matched and in the end, we just wanted it more."

Waterloo's only loss this season was the opening game against Western and Ciezar said his team has improved every game since then.

"You could see it towards the end of the game how bad our team wanted it," he said. "We played really great defence to keep the lead. We had a lot of good solid individual efforts on the field. Western played really hard and both team's forwards played great."

McMaster travels to Western for the third place title at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday.


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Copyright © The Gazette 1999