By: Andrew DiRienzo
Algonquin’s women’s rugby team extended their winning streak Sept. 30 to three games with another blowout win – this one against the Loyalist Lancers.
The Thunder came out firing early and didn’t let up throughout the game, finishing with a 70-0 final score. This has been the storyline of the Thunder’s season so far.
“I think we’re the ones putting targets on our own backs,” said head coach Jen Boyd on the large margins of victory.
Fullback, Jamee Espinosa, got the scoring started early for the Thunder with a try 10 minutes into the game. From that point on, it was all Thunder as they dominated the possession and the score sheet.
So far the Thunder have won their first three games 51-0, 71-0 and 70-0 respectively.
Boyd said the lack of competition in their division is a concern going forward.
“We’re looking for exhibition matches to hopefully play some games that are a little bit more competitive,” she said. “And we’re going to start scrimmaging against each other a little bit more just to raise the level of everybody, even the girls on the bench.
“[The lack of competition] is a concern for sure because we know Humber is doing the same thing in the west. They’re very strong.”
Heading into the Thanksgiving weekend break, the Thunder sit atop the east division standings with a perfect 3-0 record. Boyd said she hopes the break doesn’t affect the team in the coming weeks and that they can still come back dominant.
“We have a long session on the Monday and we’ll have an inter-squad so I think the break will be good,” she said. “We’re going to train all week and I hope they come back refreshed – that’s the hope.”
While most coaches don’t usually focus on the personal accomplishments, Boyd says it’s hard not to think about going through regular season without allowing a point. She said now that the team has gone through everybody once, she may mention the shutout streak to the them.
Maintaining focus in a blowout game can be difficult, but Boyd said she and the coaching staff do their best to not let the score get to them.
“It’s not the score that makes us lose focus,” said inside centre Courtney Mastine.
“Supporting our teammates is key,” said flanker Emily O’Connor. “We can’t rush anything.
The game doesn’t end until the last whistle is blown, so we have to keep playing our game until that whistle.”
“[The coaches] just remind them what we’re trying to do,” Boyd said. “We remind them we’ve got to play 80 minutes so if they don’t play 80 minutes it’s just not good enough.”
Boyd said with the large margin of victories she thinks she and the rest of the coaches “do a good job of keeping the girls grounded.
“It’s hard not to feel good about yourself when you’re putting up scores like that,” she said.