Volume 93, Issue 22
Wednesday, October 6, 1999
Ruggers win, lose key players in process
YOU MUST WALK LIKE ME TO SUCCEED IN RUGBY. Western's women's rugby team showed Toronto how to strut their stuff in a 8-0 'Stang win.
By Wes Brown
Battered and bruised, the Western women's rugby team held on last weekend to remain undefeated for the season.
The Mustangs beat McMaster University handily 26-5 in a game which saw some key starters go down with injuries. As a direct result, the University of Toronto gave Western a run for their money, but still lost 8-0.
Western's assistant coach Jodi Miller said the conditions for both games were not the best cold and rainy at McMaster and muddy at Toronto but the team worked well. "By the end of the first half at Mac, the score was 19-5. We were producing very clear balls for the backs to run with and together worked effectively in their end," Miller said.
In the Toronto game, the lack of scoring was a direct result of losing players to injuries against McMaster. Miller said the team still played well but it took some extra effort. "Mac was definitely the better team, but in the Toronto game we were having a problem getting the ball out to the wing and the backs couldn't get a clean ball in the process," she said.
Flanker Angie Donovan said losing sister and scrum half Kelly Donovan as well as her flanker partner Judy McCartney to injuries affected both the forwards and the wingers on the team.
"The Mac game cost us two key players. Kelly is out with what we think is a cracked rib and Judy isn't able to practice yet, so we were not the same for the Toronto game," she said.
Getting back to the good, the intensity issue plaguing the team over the last few games was not a factor. Donovan said the team took it to McMaster right from the start. "Scoring came 11 minutes in, then 10 minutes after that, then just after halftime. It was a mixture of a lot of things done very well," she said.
Western will meet Guelph next and both teams come into the game with undefeated records. "Guelph is a strong team, everybody is going to have to have a huge game," Donovan said. "A lot of people get worried about playing Guelph, but I think we have had a harder schedule, putting them at a disadvantage. They are going to come in over confident."
Toronto head coach Gina Minutilo said she could tell there was something off with the Mustangs. "Last year's team was very crisp where this team didn't seem to have the same crispness. Rugby is a rippling game, if one person goes down the entire team is effected. We are dealing with the loss of our flyhalf so we know how that feels first hand," she said.
A lot of teams have lost some key players in recent games and Minutilo said veterans have a way of figuring things out when they aren't working. She added when these veterans get hurt, you have to turn to more inexperienced players.
"All you can do is throw [rookies] in the deep end and see what they can do. This is not high school rugby. It kind of puts you behind the eight ball with these young players," she said.
Copyright © The Gazette 1999