Volume 94, Issue 26
Tuesday, October 17, 2000
Ruggers' playoff hopes quashed
Women's rugby team co-captain Judy McCartney in action in Saturday's hearbreaking loss to the Guelph Gryphons.
By Jessica Leeder
You win some, you lose some. All is fair in love and war. There are countless age-old clichés we could use to sum up the outcome of this weekend's women rugby match although none of them would do justice to the team's play.
The Lady Mustangs watched a near-perfect season go down the tubes Saturday as their quarterfinal playoff loss to a determined Guelph squad denied the Mustangs a much sought after semi-final berth. Western head coach Natascha Wesch said the final 29-17 score was not a fair indicator of the battle that took place on the field.
"They worked harder than they worked all year but it just didn't materialize out there," Wesch said, emulating pride for her team's hard work. "They were so prepared for this game, the score does not reflect how mentally prepared they were.
"This was the best game I've seen Guelph play in the history of Western rugby they just kept pressuring us and using their strengths. [Guelph] dug really deep and it showed."
The game was all tied up at 17 halfway through the game. The apparent difference in play was when the Gryphons came back on the field all fired up and took the lead on two quick tries midway through the half. The Western squad was looking fatigued as they tried repeatedly to penetrate Guelph's defensive attack with no avail.
"We were probably giving as much as we could give," said fly-half Vicky Peacey. "We all gave one hundred per cent out there."
The loss, in what Guelph head coach Jim Atkinson described was a "do or die game", puts the Mustangs in contention for a fifth place final standing against the loser of the other quarterfinal match and out of the Ontario University Athletics playoffs.
"We've got a different season to look at now, but we still have another game to play," Wesch said.
"[Guelph] had to make a real team effort to win this game," Atkinson said "We're glad to be moving on to the semi-finals, but it was phenomenal play by Western."
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