Road to nationals starts tomorrow

Women's rugby to host Trent Excalibur in OUA quarter-final

Women's rugby had to wear their uniforms inside-out to avoid clashing with the Toronto Varsity Blues' colours last weekend.
Women's rugby had to wear their uniforms inside-out to avoid clashing with the Toronto Varsity Blues' colours last weekend.
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Tomorrow, the women’s rugby team will launch the campaign for a repeat of their 2010 appearance at the national championships. It starts with an OUA quarter-final match against the Trent Excalibur at Tindall field.

The Gaels beat the Toronto Varsity Blues 41-29 in Toronto last weekend to finish the season with a 4-1 record and place second in the Russell Division. Despite some inconsistent play over the five-game regular season, captain Rachelle Kranenburg said the team is focusing entirely on tomorrow’s game.

“There are definitely things that could have gone better in our season but everyone is working hard and we have learned a lot,” she said. “I feel confident going in to the playoffs.”

The Excalibur eliminated the Gaels in the 2008 quarter-finals, but they’ve lost five straight games to the Gaels since then, including last season’s fifth-place game at nationals. The Gaels beat the Excalibur in regular season play on Sept. 10.

“Trent’s been our rival for the past several years so I think it’ll be good to get that fire again,” Kranenburg said. “I think that we’re ready and really want it.”

Head coach Beth Barz said the team’s recent success against the Excalibur will help them.

“Although it doesn’t really matter to me who we play, it’s nice to already have a win over a team that you’re going to face in the playoffs,” she said, adding that her team will prepare for the Excalibur by studying video footage from the Sept. 10 game.

“I quite like doing video analysis and enjoy looking at another team’s strengths and weaknesses when preparing for them.” Tomorrow’s game starts at 1 p.m. on Tindall field.

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