The Comox Valley Kickers women knocked off the defending champions in the opening round of the BC Rugby playoffs, Saturday at Cumberland Village Park. In a dominating performance, the home team defeated the Vancouver Meralomas 56-5 in front of a big crowd in the Division 1 quarter-final game.
The Kickers scored a frenzy of unanswered tries to start the game strong. With the forward pack gaining hard yards by crashing the ball, and the back line utilizing the opportunities given, the Kickers were consistent in their offensive attacks throughout the whole game. There was plenty of back-and-forth action, but the Kickers demonstrated solid defence, allowing just one score against.
Inside centre Natalie Nguyen and flyhalf Paula Simpson both had strong games, each scoring a hattrick of tries. Outside centre Daris Tendler and winger Tanya Timmons each scored once. Simpson was perfect with her kicks, adding eight conversions.
“We played with an intensity that was hard to match. We’ve improved from the last game as what we practised on during the week, we executed during the game. Everyone did their job and contributed to the win,” said Nguyen, the Kickers captain. “Our back line had great line speed and ran our plays well which allowed us to exploit their defence. Once we were able to break the line, it was very difficult to catch us. Our forwards were quick to the rucks, and were strong in the scrums and lineouts. Overall, it was a well-rounded game for us.”
Heading into the match, Comox Valley was ranked number three and the Meralomas were number six among Division 1 women’s teams in B.C. On Saturday, April 27, the Kickers play the Nanaimo Hornets in a semi-final road game. Both teams finished the regular season with five wins and two losses. Nanaimo earned the number two ranking due to a greater point differential.
“We need to continue this momentum heading into the semi-finals as Nanaimo are very tough opponents, and we’ve split the series during the regular season,” Nguyen said. “We have to stay hungry if we want to win.”
Saturday’s kickoff is 11:15 a.m at May Bennett Pioneer Park in Nanaimo.
The number four seed Cowichan/Westshore travels to face top seed Abbotsford in the other semi.
The semi-final winners advance to the 2019 BC Rugby Club finals May 4 at Burnaby Lake.
For more information about the Comox Valley Kickers Rugby Club, visit comoxvalleyrugby.ca or email firstname.lastname@example.org.