WOMEN’S RUGBY BATTLING FOR PLAYOFF BERTH

This article was originally published in The Charlatan newspaper on October 5 2016.

The Carleton Ravens women’s rugby team’s losing streak extended to three games, as they were defeated 29-8 by the Concordia Stingers at Raven Road Field on Oct. 2.

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Despite being on home turf, the Ravens were beaten by a strong Concordia side. (Image via Carleton Athletics website.)

Carleton started on the front foot, with a scrum on the five metre line after Concordia touched down in the goal area. Ravens  player Mel Judges picked the ball off the back of the scrum, but was penalized for holding onto the ball at the ruck, and Concordia was able to punt the ball clear.

After that the game became scrappy, as the wet conditions led to a lot of handling errors and turnovers at the ruck. Concordia began to assert their dominance at this point, with a Stingers line break coming tight to the ruck, and several phases later, Concordia’s Jenna Thompson powered over for what was one of her three tries of the day in the 15th minute.

After the game, Ravens head coach Patrick Thompson said he was proud of the way his team competed.

“Concordia is traditionally a very physical team, we’re learning how to compete with that, we’re becoming quite physical too, and when you play at the [Canadian Interuniversity Sports] level, every game is at that level,” he said. “I think we’re adapting to it, and we’re growing in a lot of ways, which is great.”

Carleton stayed competitive despite this early setback, and some continued pressure led to a penalty, which flanker Bailey Dean duly booted over to bring the score to 5-3 for Concordia in the 25th minute.

Concordia came out into the second half with plenty of offensive pressure, scoring a try three minutes into the second half.

The Stinger forwards were dominating by this point, and created space out wide for their backs. Thompson again capitalized on Concordia’s momentum with two tries in 10 minutes to make the score 29-3, and put Carleton virtually out of reach.

“Concordia is traditionally a very physical team, we’re learning how to compete with that, we’re becoming quite physical too, and when you play at the [Canadian Interuniversity Sports] level, every game is at that level,” – Pat Thompson.

Ravens hooker Maria Godfrey scored her second try in two games to make the score 29-8. Dean missed the conversion in the 70th minute, and the score remained that way for the rest of the game.

“This is day eight of the toughest week of our schedule, we are playing three of the top teams in the Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec [RSEQ], and three of the top teams in Canada,” Thompson said after the game. “Obviously the scoreboard is not what we wanted it to be, but if you put things into perspective, we’re a growing team, and we’re developing that competitiveness throughout the group and that’s really showing.”

Carleton entered Sunday’s game needing only one more win to guarantee their place in the top four of the RSEQ, and thus the playoffs, but will be forced to wait until two weeks from now to seal their fate.

Despite the loss, Thompson said after the game that he was happy with how the team had performed this season, and was looking forward to the game against the Montreal Carabins in two weeks.

“We feel real good, ideally looking at the beginning of the year, we knew the game against Montreal was going to be key, and we are trying to keep our fate in our own hands, which we’ve done so far,” he said. “We’ll fix a few things over the next couple of weeks, and we’ll be ready for the game against Montreal.”

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