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Senior girls rugby squad ready for provincials

Posted on May 27, 2014 by Taber Times

Another strong season by the Senior Varsity Rebels girls rugby team this year saw the team getting ready to make a run at a provincial title.

This year, the S.V. Rebels boasted a record of two wins, two losses, and three ties. This year they played a three-game tournament in Edmonton as well and were perfect in all three games, going undefeated.

“It’s been a very good season,” said coach Andrew Llewelyn-Jones. “It was a very decent effort by the senior girls. If you add those three games (from the Edmonton tourney), their record is 5-2-3.”

The team relied on excellent play from their forwards with lots of support and good running from their backs this season. Llewelyn-Jones pointed to a recent game against Lethbridge Collegiate Institute, a powerhouse this year in the league, as a perfect example of the work ethic he’s seen from the team. The girls lost that game 19-17, but Llewelyn-Jones said the game was a good indicator of how far the program has come along.

“It was a very close game and could have gone either way,” he said. “That was a really good showing against a strong team.”

He added the game wwould give the team confidence as they prepare for their provincial title run.

“They’ve worked hard in training and played hard in their games, so there’s some good results there,” he said.

The senior girls rugby program in Taber is in its fifth year, and Llewelyn-Jones said it’s good to see the teams get stronger every season.

“It’s nice to see the program growing,” he said. “It’s gaining in popularity. People are getting more excited (for rugby season), and parents are more excited the more they get to know and understand the game.”

Much like their junior varsity counterparts, the S.V. Rebels function as a defence-first unit, buying in to the idea that a strong, high-pressure defence will create offensive chances when opposing teams are forced to make mistakes.

“Our defensive capabilities have been excellent this year,” said Llewelyn-Jones. “It’s been our primary focus to get girls to defend well, knowing if you defend well you can turn that into attacking play very easily. That’s been big for us.”

It’s clear from the strength of the teams and the interest in the community that there is a definite thirst for girls rugby action on the field.

‘Rugby is a game for players of different abilities,” Llewelyn-Jones said. “We’re seeing that meld of capabilities get better. We can draw on the strengths of different players and we’re getting that nice blend coming in (with each new season).”

The S.V. Rebels were headed to County Central High School in Vulcan Tuesday night for a provincial quarterfinal game, with the winner moving on to face the F.P. Walshe Flyers S.V. team from Fort Macleod for the zone semi-final Thursday night.

“It’s basically knock-out competition now for zones,” said Llewelyn-Jones.

Results of both games were not available.

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