By: Andrew Di Rienzo
The Algonquin women’s rugby team started their season in convincing fashion with a landslide win against the St. Lawrence Vikings.
After a slow start to the game, things got going with the first of what would be many tries for the Thunder. The first try was the decisive score in the eventual shutout of the Vikings.
“It was huge,” said head coach Jen Boyd on getting the first win of the season. “[St. Lawrence] beat us twice in the regular season last year so it was nice to get the win against them.”
After a dominant first half that saw the Thunder leading 20-0 heading into half time, the team really turned it up in the second half. They scored two tries early in the half to give them a 34-0 lead, but they weren’t done there. They scored three tries in under five minutes later in the half to give them a 51-0 lead which they kept until the end of the game.
St. Lawrence’s coach, Gary Peacock, made it very clear to his team that he was unimpressed with the way the game was going at the half. “They’re out-weighing and out-muscling you,” he said. “I told you guys you need to be more physical.”
Boyd said even with such a large margin of victory, there is always room for improvement and there is always something that can be done better.
“The score is zero-zero as far as I’m concerned,” she said. “At least that’s how I see it as a coach.”
She said her team’s large number of turnovers in the second half was something they need to work on.
The match was very physical and saw four players from the Vikings go down with injuries, three of which needed assistance to leave the field. As physical as the match was, however, it wasn’t as bad as last season according to lock Bronté Hogeveen.
When asked if the win sent a message, Boyd said, “I hope so. I know it’s definitely what we were trying to do.”
A big reason for the Thunder’s success was not just their skill, but also the Vikings’ play said hook Taryn Gauley.
“They were disorganized, especially in their scrums,” she said. “I didn’t think it would be that easy against them.”
This is just the second season for women’s rugby at the college. Last season the Thunder finished 4-2-0 in the regular season and earned a bronze medal in the post-season with a win against the Vikings.
Hogeveen said that was why starting the season with such a big win against them was so big.
“We beat them for the bronze [last year],” she said, “but we only won 6-5.”
Winning the medal was something Boyd said was great for the team and the program.
“It was nice to end the season with a win,” she said. “I think winning that bronze really helped with the turnout this year and I think it brought a lot of the girls back.”