Parc Douglas hosted a Blues rugby doubleheader with mixed results
By Elise Favis and Tyler Finigan
Dawson Blues Women’s Rugby team smothered Marianopolis by a score of 33-0 at Douglas Park last Sunday.
It was the second game this season. The previous was against Heritage College, where Dawson won 53-5.
The grass was matted with glossy rainwater and the air was frigid for those in shorts and t-shirts. Despite the weather and the rough start by Dawson, they were able to pull through by the second half, ending the game with five successful tries.
“As the game went on, we got into it,” forward player for The Blues, Kia Pouliot said. “Our confidence went up, and we got really ball-hungry at the end, but not at the beginning.”
The game had a slow start, with many line-outs, penalties and scrums due to mistakes from both teams. There were no major offences, just slight mistakes.
The first try was conducted in the first half by Tracie Silva of Dawson Blues, which took the score up to 5-0.
Marianopolis barely had any chances to catch any throw-ins, or gain possession of the ball, due to` Dawson’s unstoppable pace. Marianopolis attempted a couple tries, but never succeeded.
Nonetheless, Marianopolis kept their spirits up, and battled hard until the end. Their coach shouted encouraging advice, but they were still no match for Dawson’s aggressive tackles and fast-running tries.
Kaylie Stuckey, a scrum-half for The Blues, scored 10 points from two tries with the help of her teammates. Stuckey deflected tackles from Marianopolis effortlessly and had great speed while running to the tryzone.
The game ended with Judith Landry’s try, and a great power of teamwork from the Dawson Blues, ending the game with 33-0.
“[The Blues] weren’t perfect, but they were good,” head oach of the Blues, Jocelyn Barrieau said. “We still have a lot of work to do.”
“I was happy for the win, but we know what we have to improve on for the next time,” back player Jennifer Dumais said.
The next game the Blues will play will be this Sunday against Vanier.
The Blues fell short in their home opener last Sunday, losing by a single point against Marianopolis.
From start to finish, Dawson struggled to hold their ground on the pitch.
The first half of the match, Marianopolis dominated Dawson’s defence. They battered the Blues with their solid rucking and timely running plays.
With many attempts at the tryzone, Marianopolis eventually succeeded. “We lost game within the first 20 minutes,” Coach Robin Hoots said.
Dawson’s momentum was shot. They were unable to secure a decent passing game and during many unsuccessful plays, and were crushed under Marianopolis’ defence.
By the end of the half, Dawson was able to apply pressure against the opposition and cross over into Marianopolis’ side. “We finally made it to their half.” Coach Hoots said to players on the bench, “How about we play some rugby now.”
The Blues responded with a few rushes towards the tryzone. They won a few throw ins here and there but they weren’t getting anywhere. Within minutes from the mid-way whistle.
Dawson was able to score, bringing themselves into the game for the first time. The second half of the game brought no change for The Blues. They were unable to capitalize on any of their penalties and they constantly fell short during certain plays that should have been considered fool proof.
Nothing seemed to go right for Dawson. When they’d make a play and push forward, Marianopolis would push back by mauling the ball in for five points.
Despite their lack of communication, The blues were able to retaliate. They mustered up a few tries to bring their score within one point of the other team.
Tension grew, as both teams battled for possession. Dawson started to pick up their game but it proved to be insufficient. Most of the points for Dawson were created by the efforts of one or two of their players. Where there was room to spread out the passing, it wasn’t used and so The Blues weren’t able to get the points they needed.
“Individual effort was good but the teamwork wasn’t.” Panas Marmaras, former player and Assistant Coach said.
Finally it came down to a last penalty where Dawson went for the three point kick. The ball went wide by a sliver and then the end of game whistle was blown.
The Blues decided not to comment, but it was clear that Sunday’s performance was a 180 degree turn from their shutout win in their first game.
“We definitely played better last game,” said Coach Hoots, “Their hearts and their minds weren’t into it.”
The Blues play their next game against Vanier at Vanier this Sunday.