Ross rugby girls keep eyes on another D4/10 title
GUELPH – The Ross Royals will get a shot at their fourth consecutive District 4/10 high school girls’ rugby championship title Thursday at Victoria Park in Fergus.
The Royals gained a berth in the final with a 62-15 victory over the Erin Raiders in an A semifinal Monday on their own field.
While the Royals are perennial championship-match participants, they had to come up with a way to offset the players from last year that they lost due to graduation.
“There was a plan to work the forward pack,” Ross coach Mark Yanchus said. “Those are my veterans and they were all back. We were decimated in the back line so we sat down and created a leadership group out of six senior players who are graduating, all from the forwards, and looked at a plan. We’ll let our veterans have the ball. They’re the leaders on the field, calling where we’ll go.”
The Royals also feel fortunate that some of the other athletes already on campus decided to give rugby a try and most have flourished.
“We inherited a few very athletic people from a few other teams,” Yanchus said. “Olivia Sarabura from the hockey team. Holy cow, that kid can run.”
Never one to publicly admit his feelings about how good his team is, Yanchus did feel the Royals would finish in first at the end of the regular season and grab its usual berth in the D4/10 final.
Monday’s win keeps the Royals undefeated this season as they had won all six of their regular-season matches.
“It’s been a great season,” he said. “I felt like we should finish out on top and this year I expected that points would be scored against and that we’d be in the D4/10 final.”
The Royals did score a league-high 281 points during their regular season and yield a league-low 22 points. Last year Ross scored 342 points and gave up seven.
Anna Bernardi led the Royals with 27 points while Maddie Gundy had 10 and Darby Whittaker, Ruth Agyemang, Cassidy Gordon, Olivia Sarabura and Saneika Patterson each had five.
Erin’s scorers were not reported.
The Royals are to play the winner of Tuesday’s A semifinal between the Centre Wellington Falcons and Orangeville Bears in Thursday’s 6:30 p.m. final. Ross defeated both teams in the regular season, winning 54-5 over Centre Wellington at Fergus April 30 and 40-0 over Orangeville at Ross May 2.
“For this year, we are right where we need to be,” Yanchus said. “We’re going to go in with (a) one-game-at-a-time (attitude). This is Game 8 coming up, but at CWOSSA it starts all over. One game at a time.”
Thursday’s winner advances to next week’s CWOSSA AAA championship tournament at Owen Sound May 23 and 25.
Top four teams at the end of the D4/10 regular season advanced to the A playoffs while the teams that finished fifth through eighth moved on to the B playoffs.
By being the lone AA team to advance in the D4/10 A playoffs, Erin also gained a berth in next week’s CWOSSA A/AA championship tournament that they will host May 23 and 25.
Guelph CVI 46 Wellington Heights 7
Leksi Dawes scored a pair of tries for GCVI in the B semifinal. Hanna Gordon kicked three converts while single tries were added by Sarah Demary, Tianna Dolderman, Abbey Hyatt, Mandeep Jawanda, Lou Meloche and Kavya Vurrabindi.
Scorers for Wellington Heights were not reported.
GCVI advances to Thursday’s 5:15 p.m. B final at Fergus and is to play either the Bishop Macdonell Celtics or Centennial Spartans.
Ross 40 Centre Dufferin 14
Liam Weir and Will Halyer each had 10 points for Ross in the battle of the Royals while Calvin Fogler, Matt Duff, Jon Howie and Ty Dunk each added five.
Camden Newton had two tries for Centre Dufferin and Caleb Jonker converted both.
Ross leads the league at 4-0-0 while Centre Dufferin is third at 1-2-0.
Centre Wellington 76 Erin 0
Centre Wellington scored 14 tries in the win — three by Troy Dyce, two by Cameron Rodrigue and one each by Hunter Ouellette, Wesley Munn, Troy Hall, Seumas Hotson, Ethan Kosempel, James McCulloch, Jimmy Hutchins, Darian Sarhangi and Caleb Willmets.
Centre Wellington has recorded shutout victories in all three of its league games this season.
Ross 24 Centre Dufferin 0
Keaton Peaterson, Darin Sinclair, Cameron House and Adam Best each had a try for Ross and Mitchell Penner kicked two converts.
Ross completed its regular season at 3-1-0 and awaits a semifinal opponent.
- Guelph Sports Journal