Picture perfect: Western blanks Warriors to capture third OUA title in four years

Team effort leads to offensive outburst

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Western women's rugby team

Jonas Hrebeniuk

With a steady diet of physical domination, the women’s rugby team demolished the Waterloo Warriors in the Ontario University Athletics championships 69-0.

Centre LaToya Blackwood stressed the importance of staying motivated despite being the dominant force all game.

“We weren’t going to let them get away with silly mistakes on our part,” she said. “They are a tough team and we can’t really underestimate them.

“They could have scored a try on us at any point during the game so we couldn’t [get over-confident].”

With a record of 8-2 against Waterloo since 1999 and a perfect season under their belts, the Mustangs had the upper hand going into Saturday’s match at St. George’s rugby pitch in London.

Five minutes into the first half, a Waterloo penalty allowed Western to clear the ball, leading to the ’Stangs’ first try.

Waterloo remained on the defensive for the rest of the game, rarely gaining back possession of the ball.

The Mustangs played with tenacity and ended the first half up 40-0.

Teamwork was key for the ’Stangs; they maintained possession right into the second half, with Blackwood getting her first try of the game to make it 45-0.

“We played as a team and just supported each other,” Blackwood said. “We’ve been through a rough season with a lot of injuries and the accident of Rachel Spearing, but we pulled together and we just worked as a team and played really hard.”

Winger Joannah Clift brought the score to 47-0 after she successfully kicked the conversion.

The remainder of the game was in Western’s hands, with Waterloo struggling to hold on to the few possessions they earned.

“We never quit,” Western head coach and 2007 coach of the year Natascha Wesch said.

“[We were] sending out a message to Waterloo because we are in the same pool as them in the Canadian Interuniversity Sport championships next week. When they come up against us they are going to have a huge fight on their hands.”

Prop Allison Lamoureux led the squad with three tries. Tanja Ness, Jane Cation, Joannah Clift, Liz Wilson and Blackwood all contributed two.

Thirteen tries and two conversions later, the women were OUA champs.

Winning the gold was important for Blackwood and the other returning players given last year’s disappointment against Guelph in the finals, where they lost 7-5.

“It was a big relief, especially for the returning players,” she said. “Ever since we lost that game last year we definitely wanted to win it back again " just to show that we are the better team.”

“It was very exciting; it was more something we had to prove to ourselves,” Wesch added. “It just proved to us we are the better team and we did in fact learn a lot from last year.”

With the CIS championships just around the corner, the women are confident that despite the increasingly cold weather, they can bring the heat.

“[Saturday] was really cold and wet, but we are going to plan to keep a really tight game [in nationals],” Blackwood said. “We are just going to bang it up and let our forwards do all the dirty work.

“Hopefully we will do a lot better than last year. We are going to stick to our game plan and stick together as a team and work as hard as we can.

“We plan to win CIS.”

The women’s rugby team looks to maintain its unbeaten record in the national competition on Thursday at St. George’s Rugby Pitch in London. Stay tuned for more coverage.

Share this article on:

Facebook | DiggDigg |

Copyright © 2008 The Gazette