First goal out of the way for Ross rugby girls
FERGUS – Goal one accomplished for the Ross Royals.
The Royals captured their fourth consecutive District 4/10 girls’ rugby league title Thursday when they defeated the Centre Wellington Falcons 35-5 in the league’s A final.
“We set out, I thought we could and we have,” Ross coach Mark Yanchus said of winning the D4/10 crown. “I expected nothing but a couple of fat lips with a solid defensive posture from CW never-say-die. Joe Bowley coached them defensively perfectly for our style of team.”
The Royals scored three tries in the first half and added a couple more in the second to win and complete an unbeaten run through D4/10 play this season.
“I think we wee relentless,” Yanchus said. “We kept running at them and we wore them down, but, oh, hats off to their defence and their tackling and they never gave up right to the bitter end.”
The win was the eighth in D4/10 this year as the Royals won all six of their regular-season games and also claimed two playoff wins.
In the A final, Ross had control of the ball for the majority of the game, but were held to a season-low in points scored in a single game.
“That was partly because we didn’t get it out wide and score wide,” Yanchus said. “We’ve been used to finishing. I’ve had the backs in the past to go a couple of spin passes and we’re going down the sideline. We’re tiring out teams by the end of the games as our bum style biggie game can exhaust people. But we don’t have that (outside) game this year. He matched a great defence against what we had.”
Ross was credited with scoring 20 points in an opening-day win, but that game was never played as Westside forfeited.
Top four teams at the end of the regular season competed in the A playoffs while the teams that finished fifth through eighth competed in the B playoffs.
Maddie Gundy led the Royals with three tries while Ruth Agyemang and Saneika Patterson had one apiece and Anna Bernardi converted all five.
Scorer for Centre Wellington was not available.
Ross advances to the CWOSSA AAA championship tournament Wednesday and Friday at Owen Sound and the Royals figure they have some things to iron out before they get there.
“Our inability to go wide, which has to be solved, means we’re sort of one-dimensional,” Yanchus said. “We’re tough and we have the ball lots and I’ve got the girls that are just going to keep pounding you, but as they showed today if their defence is tenacious, then they can put up a fight.”
At the CWOSSA tournament, Ross is in a pool with the D5 champions (likely Brantford CI Mustangs) and D6/11 runner-up Waterloo CI Vikings. Wednesday, they’re to play Waterloo CI at 10 a.m. and the D5 champions at 4 p.m. Top team in the pool is to return Friday for a 1 p.m. championship match against the top team from the other pool of the D8 champion (St. Mary’s of Kitchener or Resurrection of Kitchener or St. David of Waterloo), Owen Sound Wolves and the D6/11 champion Kitchener CI Raiders.
“We feel good about it,” Yanchus said. “I think this is where we deserve to be and I don’t think anyone would argue as our record shows we’re first out of the district. We’re proudly going to represent D10. We’re going to forget about our previous three years (all CWOSSA title wins). Modesty and grace is the motto and we’re going to head up there all ready to play rugby. We think we can play and we think we can win.”
The Royals also know they’ll get a good idea where they stand with the morning game against Waterloo CI.
“If it doesn’t go well in the first game in the morning, then we’ll know we’ve hit a wall in terms of what we’re able to do,” Yanchus said. “But if that first game goes off, we’ll have a sense of who we are against the big women on campus, the KCI Raiders.”
Guelph CVI 24 Centennial 20
Second try of the match by Leksi Dawes on the last play of the game lifted GCVI to the win.
Lou Meloche also scored two tries for GCVI while Hanna Gordon kicked two converts.
Centennial’s scorers were not reported.
The game brought the season to an end for both teams as neither advance.
Guelph CVI 35 Centennial 0
Seven players each scored a try for GCVI. They were Sam Steinhauser, Donny Smart, Devin Struyk, Ethan Kroetch, Owen Stirling, Curtis Martin and Sam Phippen.
The Gaels finished second at 3-1-0 while the Ross Royals were first at 4-0-0. Centennial was fifth at 0-4-0. Erin finished third at 2-2-0 and Centre Dufferin fourth at 1-3-0.
The semifinals are slated for Tuesday with GCVI hosting Erin at Varsity Field and Ross and Centre Dufferin hooking up in an all-Royals match at Ross.
The final is scheduled for Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at Victoria Park in Fergus.
Erin 38 Centre Dufferin 5
Justin McLaughlin scored three tries and added four conversions for Erin while singler tries were recorded by Austin Choquette, Josh Hislop and Moses Santos.
Noah Stron collected the try for Centre Dufferin.
Centre Wellington 50 Guelph CVI 0
Centre Wellington struck for 10 tries in the match.
Scoring details were not reported.
Ross finished first at 4-0-0 while GCVI and Centre Dufferin were both at 2-2-0 and Centre Wellington and Erin were both at 1-3-0. Centre Wellington forfeited three games and didn’t qualify for the playoffs.
Centre Dufferin 45 Erin 5
Centre Dufferin scored seven tries while Erin had one.
Scoring details were not reported.
Tuesday’s semifinals have GCVI playing Centre Dufferin at Varsity Field and Ross hosting Erin.
The final is set for Thursday at 5:15 p.m. at Victoria Park in Fergus.
- Guelph Sports Journal