Volume 12 Week 5

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Senior Girls Rugby
St. Peter Knights successfully defend AAA rugby crown
By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

The St. Peter Knights celebrate after winning the NCSSAA AAA senior girls rugby championship for the second year in a row on Tuesday. Fred Sherwin/Photo

The St. Peter Knights varsity girls rugby team successfully defended their AAA senior girls title on Thursday, grinding out a 10-5 win over the Ashbury Colts.

The final was a far cry from their regular season ending match-up last week which the Knights easily won 17-3. The Colts made several key adjustments on defence and kicked the ball deep more hoping St. Peter's backs would have trouble handling the ball.

The latter strategy led to the Colts only try of the game in the first half and very nearly resulted in a second score in the second half if not for St. Peter's ability to keep the Colts out of the goal area.

The Knights opened the scoring with a try by Carolyn Williams midway through the first half that was set up by a great open field run by co-captain Erin McCallan.

It only took the Colts seven minutes to respond with a try from Sarah Peters off a mall from about 10 metres out from touch.

The Colts very threatened to score again late in the first half, but the Knights were equal to the task forcing Ashbury to attempt a penalty kick from just inside the 22-metre line that came up short.

The 5-5 draw stood up until late in the game when the Knights managed to get the ball deep into Colts territory. Rachel McCallan took the ball off a ruck inside the 22-metre line and spun a pass out to Vanessa Macias who powered her way inside 10 metres with an Ashbury player hanging from her shoulders. The ball eventually made it out to CO-captain Merrit Blair on the left flank who crossed the goal line and into touch for the go-ahead try.

It's the second year in a row that the Knights have beaten the Colts in the final. Both teams will know be going to the OFSAA provincial championships in Hamilton where St. Peter will be hoping to earn a medal.

As co-captains, Blair an McCallan are thrilled to be going to OFSAA for the second year in a row. The two girls have been with the team since Grade 9, along with Kristen Hale.

"This is what we've been working for since we first made the team in Grade 9. To win back-to-back championships is incredible," Blair said after the game.

"We're creating a legacy that will hopefully last for a few more years," added McCallan.

Coach Pat Thompson said his team knew they would have their work cut out for themselves against the Colts in a game that could have gone either way.

"With Ashbury I wouldn't have expected anything else. They made a couple of adjustments from the last game which really made it tough for us, but we found a way to win," said Thompson. "I think the difference was our leadership from our captains and our senior players."

In the day's earlier game for the AA championship, the Holy Trinity Tornadoes beat the St. Matthew Tigers 17-5 in a game that was tied 5-5 until the 10 minute mark of the second half.

According to Tigers coach Linda Hamilton, her team couldn't match the Tornadoes' fitness and began to run out of gas as the second half wore on.

The Tigers lone try was scored by Lauren Clark. St. Matthew has been to the finals three years in a row. The last two were in Tier 1.

(Posted: 7 a.m., May 28)

 

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