Volume 94, Issue 8


Western's cross country team get motors runnning in Detroit

Gearing up for a big season - Ruggers split weekend games

Gearing up for a big season - Ruggers split weekend games

By Jessica Leeder
Gazette Staff

Give the Western women's rugby team a little taste of victory and all they want is more.

This past weekend the Mustang women's rugby team travelled to Waterloo and Guelph on a two game exhibition road swing that left them feeling good. After losing to Waterloo 10-0 on Friday, the lady Mustangs came back with a vengeance, beating Guelph 22-21 – the first time in the history of women's varsity rugby at Western.

Despite the loss to Waterloo, Western head coach Natascha Wesch seemed very pleased with the outcome of the weekend games.

"Even though we lost to Waterloo, the game was a big success. It wasn't about winning or losing, it was about trying to get to know each other and finding out what we needed to work on."

Friday's game was the first game for Western after final team cuts were made. Because of the exhibition status, players were not in their usual positions, nor were the veterans playing with teammates they are accustomed to, explained Wesch.

Despite their Friday loss, Guelph head coach Jim Atkinson, said he thought Western's team was ahead of his own in terms of making cuts and progress.

"At the start of the game on Sunday I had made no cuts at all. Western had the advantage of playing Waterloo on Friday night and working some things out, but they're also a week or so ahead of us in respect to the team selection process, which gave them a bit of an upper hand."

Fourth-year Western flanker Nicole Pasquino said she thought the weekend was productive for her team. "We hadn't played together as a team before Friday and it really gave us a chance to get the kinks out. We tried out some new positions and the weekend really brought the team together."

Like Guelph, the Warriors used their weekend game to make their final cuts. Regular timing and starting lines were not used throughout the games and despite having her final roster, Wesch said she took the opportunity to try out rookie players and veterans in new positions alike.

"They really went out there and did what they were supposed to do on Friday – working on the team systems and plays we're going to be implementing," Wesch explained. "Sunday was proof that the team really gelled over the weekend and was able to learn from their mistakes."

Atkinson said he was happy with the outcome of Sunday's game despite his team's loss. "I was pleased with what I saw out there on the field. By the second half my team was looking tired and shambly, so it's my thinking that Western will be a strong candidate in the league this year."

When asked if she thought Sunday was a fair indicator of what is to come this season from her team, Pasquino predicted a strong season from her teammates.

"We have a really strong team this year, a really strong pack. I think we have some wicked talent coming from some of the rookies and it's important to note that our strength doesn't come from just one person in particular. Rugby is such a team sport – I think to be successful you have to have a little bit of everything and we've got a good combination."

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