sp_Womensrugby, Daniel (online)

The Algonquin Thunder women’s rugby team face a winless season so far after a 42-24 defeat to the St. Lawrence Vikings on Oct. 18.

The 24 points scored by the team was the most by the Thunder so far this season, their second-highest scoring game coming on a 20-20 tie to Loyalist in early October.

The team’s ongoing search for a win could be sprouted in the fact that the team is inexperienced – out of the roster’s 22 players, only eight are returning players.

“We have a lot of new athletes,” said Algonquin Thunder head coach Dan Gauthier. “We battle consistency issues on a daily basis.”

The Thunder only scoring one try in the first half attributed to this fact.

In the second half, the St. Lawrence Vikings only scored 10 points and the Thunder scored 19 points, making up some strong pace in the second half.

Gauthier suggested that St. Lawrence’s kicking game helped their team score a lot of points initially in the first half, and the fact that the Thunder started the game flat.

“The girls’ fitness took over in the second half,” said Gauthier. “That’s when the girls started to put some points on the board again.”

For Mikayla Dawson, one of the team’s forwards and rookies, teamwork and a tight bond with her teammates is what gets her to play her hardest.

“When you see your girl go down or make that really hard hit,” said Dawson, “You’re just that much more motivated to go work for the next play.”

By the game’s end, the Thunder had four tries and two conversions.

The final try was in the dwindling minutes of the game was a well-crafted play and one of the speaking points for most players on the team, including the team’s captain Sam Neveu.

“That last push to the end for that try was excellent,” said Neveu. “I’m really proud of the team for finishing.”

The team had strong offence and strong defence especially in the second half, but consistency is something they have to work on.

“We just have to remember to keep up the intensity for the full 80 minutes,” said rookie forward Kaitlyn Devitt. “Then we’ll be hard to beat.”