Volume 93, Issue 29
Thursday, October 21, 1999
Post-season nears for rugby women
WESTERN RUGGERS READY TO RUN INTO THE PLAYOFFS. The Mustangs have one season game left on Saturday against the Royal Military College before preparing for the playoffs.
By Wes Brown
One game remains in the Mustang women's rugby season, as they now set their sights on the Ontario University Athletics finals.
Western travelled to Wilfrid Laurier University last weekend and won 41-3 against the Laurier Golden Hawks, improving their record to 7-1 on the season.
Western's assistant coach Mike Phillips said Laurier's inexperience in the OUA league didn't affect the Mustangs' play in the first half. "We were playing into the wind and really weren't playing good rugby. We were down in their end but couldn't score," Phillips said.
Western broke out of their first half funk with 35 unanswered points and Phillips said it was due to stressing team defence and unselfishness on the offensive side of the ball. "Diane Coulthard was playing fullback and she was a big part of our comeback, kicking seven for seven, totalling 16 points." Coulthard credited her first varsity level performance as Mustang fullback and her keen kicking skill to mental preparation before attacking the ball. "I first think the ball is going to go in and then I let my instincts take over the rest," she said.
Previously, Coulthard had only been substituting for the team while starting as fullback for the Western seconds rugby team. Coulthard said she has been learning from co-captain and starting fullback Andrea Haney, who has a lot of game experience under her belt.
"It's hard to say if I'm going to get to play varsity come the playoffs. Because of injuries we're going have to play the fittest, healthiest and most focused people in the playoffs whoever they may be," Coulthard said.
Laurier head coach Dawn Trussell said she felt good about the game, considering they are a first-year team.
"The score was 6-3 at the half. Our defence was strong considering the ball was in our half most of the first half. We kept the score tight," Trussell said.
With a little more experience, Trussell said her team would be able to compete with OUA level teams such as the Mustangs. "Five of our starters have never played the game before. We just need a little more experience."
Haney reflected on her team going into the final league game against the Royal Military College on the weekend, as well as the approaching OUA playoffs, with the confidence of a soon to be 8-1 team.
"The team has suffered a lot of injuries during the last couple of games, but we have the ability to do really well and I think we will be making the OUA finals," Haney said.
She added Western will likely be seeing the University of Guelph Gryphons the only team to beat them this season so far in the OUA finals.
Western completes the regular season at home this Saturday at 1 p.m.. The OUA finals begin Saturday, Oct. 30.
Copyright © The Gazette 1999