Volume 96, Issue 20
Wednesday October 2, 2002

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Western blows out badgers

By Joanna Landsberg
Gazette Writer

Lennie Kwan/Gazette
LIKE TAKING CANDY FROM A BABY. A women's rugby player breaks free of the pack and runs away like a medieval peasant who just stole a loaf of bread.

The Western Mustangs women's rugby team almost make their sport look easy.

Western blew out the Brock Badgers 51-5 this past Saturday on the rugby pitch here at Western, getting even with Brock after two consecutive upsets at the hands of the Badgers last year.

Badger's coach Greg Haley talked about the overwhelming strengths displayed by the women from Western.

"The Mustangs have incredible ball awareness as well as movement," Haley explained. "They are good communicators and cooperate very well as a team."

Haley's Badgers were dominated by the Mustangs, but he said he felt his team still had "pretty good line-outs," but could not match the pace of the Western attack.

Mustangs assistant coach Mike Hopper said he was also pleased with his team's performance and stressed the importance of the win.

"This was a game we felt we had to win and we were lucky we were able to utilize all of our players," Hopper said about the total team effort.

The victory marks the third win of the season for the undefeated Mustangs, placing them on top of their division. Although the match seemed to be all Western, it was still a brutal battle on the pitch.

"This is not a cakewalk for any team. The score does not reflect the difficulty of the game," said Mustang Kristin Ferguson, who said she believed the entire team was on the same page for the game on Saturday.

Ferguson, a Brantford native, was dominant on both ends of the field and her all-around effort was noted by Hopper.

"She's a key player with sound defence and big runs, leading her to lock in a leadership role," he said.

The Mustangs are now tied with Guelph for the top spot in Ontario and are posting some dominating numbers. Western has scored 67 points already this year and only allowed five. The team has become very tough to beat because over the past two seasons they have accumulated a solid core of returning players and coaches.

The upcoming week also looks tough for the women ruggers, who have to face the Windsor University Lancers on Wednesday and the University of Toronto on Saturday in Toronto.

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2002 THE GAZETTE