Ross rugby girls cross off first goal on their list

Rob Massey, Guelph Sports Journal

GUELPH – That’s goal No. 1 for the Ross Royals accomplished.

The reigning OFSAA AAA high school girls’ rugby champions claimed their third consecutive District 4/10 championship title Monday at Exhibition Park when they ran by the Orangeville Bears 64-0.

“Eyes on the prize and the prize was to play good rugby,” Ross coach Mark Yanchus said. “I was ready for just a brutal match with their biggies and I knew (Orangeville coach) Greg (Hill) had them ready to come after us. They’re solid, they ruck well and they were ready to punch us in the face and they were ready to match us in the ruck. We were ready to run wide on them and we were ready to punch them back.”

“We worked as a team and we had the heart in it today,” said Jasmine Ing of the Royals. “We all knew what was at stake and we put our all into it and it really showed with the way we played and the turnout of the game.”

The win completed an undefeated journey through the D4/10 league this year as the Royals won all six of their regular-season games and both of their playoff matches. Ross surrendered two tries in D4/10 play this year – one in the regular season and one in the semifinals.

“It’s just game by game,” Jasmine Ing said. “It’s D10 first and then the first game of CWOSSA and so on and so on.”

Jasmine Ing struck for four tries and six converts for the Royals in the final. That brought her total in D4/10 play to at least 15 tries and 30 converts.

“My personal season has just been working with the team, finding our strengths, trusting our other players and having them trust me,” she said. “I’m just doing everything I can to make the team better and to work more as a team.”

Ruth Agyemang scored three tries in the final while Aliesha Lewis scored two and Kiersten Bell had the other try. Courtney Ing kicked a conversion.

“I feel really good that we survived a biggie team – a slid rucking team,” Yanchus said. “That’s a great test because that’s what we’re going to see at CWOSSA.”

With the win the Royals advance to the CWOSSA AAA championship tournament that’s set for Wednesday and Friday at Cambridge’s Preston High School. A CWOSSA title win will be the third in a row and fourth overall for the Royals. Their first came in 2006.

“I thought we could go undefeated, but it was just one game at a time,” Yanchus said.

The Royals will keep that attitude for the CWOSSA tournament. They’re to play two games Wednesday.

“This was officially Game 8 and Game 9 is at 10:30 in the morning,” Yanchus said. “We’re going in like they’re unknowns, but they’re the talk of the town. They’re the Kitchener schools and they’re quality. We know to win CWOSSA is a feat and to be on the field with them is a privilege.”

“We’re expecting tough teams,” Jasmine Ing said. “We’re expecting to come up hard on defence. We’re expecting really tough teams that want to win and we’re expecting to be a tough team that wants to win as well.”

The Royals are in a pool with Kitchener CI, the D6/11 champions, and Waterloo CI, third-place finisher in that league.

The other pool has D1/7 champion Owen Sound DSS, D5 champion Brantford CI and D6/11 runners-up Waterloo-Oxford.

Ross is to play WCI Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. and KCI at 4 p.m. The final is scheduled for Friday at 1 p.m. The championship-game combatants will both gain berths in the OFSAA AAA championship tournament at Ajax

The Bishop Macdonell Celtics and Erin Raiders are both to represent the D4/10 league at the CWOSSA A/AA championship tournament at Owen Sound Wednesday and Friday.