Going into their Vancouver Island Senior Women rugby game on Saturday, the Comox Valley Kickers knew they were in for a battle against the strongest women’s team on the Island, if not in British Columbia. Their plan was to keep the ball tight and keep in their forward pack.
With several new players starting for the Kickers, Velox pounced on the ball and attacked immediately. The Kickers made the adjustment they needed and from then on kept the ball in front of the forwards, with the backs bringing the ball back to the forwards in all areas.
The first half was played matching 13 players aside. Velox showed their collective strengths with every counterattack they received by opening the game and creating much width, stretching the Kickers’ defence and running in several tries to lead 40-0 at the half.
In the second half the Kickers accepted two players from Velox, and the game became more competitive game. The Kicker forwards pressured Velox with drive after drive from penalties and free kicks. Not liking the pressure, the visitors gave away many infringements at the rucks and mauls, which played to the Kickers’ strengths.
The highlight of the second half was the defensive line taking shape quicker and moving up as a line. Lineouts, although few, were even. The Kickers, normally a good scrummaging team, struggled against Velox’s very short and very low scrums. This was a very draining game for the Kicker players but they worked tremendously hard in the second half en route to dropping a 54-14 decision.
“These girls had heart today. They played well together and kept their heads held high. We knew what we were in for going into this game, we stuck to our game plan and never gave up,” stated Aimee Burley. Lindsay Mallette and Leanne Morrison won Man of the Match honours.
Areas to focus on this week before taking on Nanaimo (Div. II provincial champions last May) will be to work on the scrums on contact, entering at the rucks, and bringing our backs more into the game, Burley said.
LINEOUTS The Kickers invite all men and women interested in playing rugby to attend training sessions on Tuesday and Thursday evenings at 6:30 p.m. at the club’s Fallen Alders facility on the Royston/Cumberland Road … for more info, visit kickersrugby.ca … the Kickers women’s team gratefully acknowledges their sponsors, Investors Group and AFC Construction, without whose support rugby would not continue to flourish in the Comox Valley … Vancouver Island Senior Women standings are in Scoreboard on page B20 …
– Comox Valley Kickers