Premier Women Bounce Burnaby
This week, we are very pleased to introduce; "Sage on the Sidelines #2" - a welcome change from The Ruggernut's colloquial diatribes.
What a start for the CW Women as they welcomed Burnaby Lake to Windsor Park on one of the finest days of rugby those hallowed grounds have seen. The team were a mix and match of old and new, experience and exuberance, debutantes and divas. While some of the play definitely had the appeal of a middle-school strings concert, there were moments of symphonic brilliance which brought the crowd to its feet.
The team was lead by Kathleen “Killer” Keller and she lived up to her moniker by providing some punishing tackles and devastating runs through and over the opposition. “Killer” is blessed with a work rate that is only matched by her humility and she kindly shared both with her CW sisters before retiring from the game with a twist to her knee. The mantle of leadership was transferred onto Marlene Nedved, who was making her long-awaited return to the field after a layoff with injury. As expected, Marlene did not disappoint with her contact and ball carrying. The coaches had high praise for all of the forward pack who were made to work extra hard against a Burnaby side renown their scrummaging. Outside of their front row duties, Tash Loucks and Gabby Senft made a huge impact around the field; the hugest being the tackle by Senft to prevent a certain Burnaby score. Incredible! The CW backs were no slouches themselves despite being introduced to each other only a few practices ago. Lizzie Adam conducted her own orchestra through the use of a variety of plays, kicks and passes and she was able to unlock the defence on many occasions. Both centres Nicole “Blondie” Shaver and Dawson “Awesome” German showed signs of developing an almost telepathic link with each other and Lizzie, which saw them create and exploit numerous holes in the Burnaby defence. On the outside, Olivia Donald proved to be the best blue chip stock option CW has ever invested in (Ed. For the Wags - another "CW investment"); she made the highest percentage of tackles that came her way and the coaches could not remember a single ball that she lost in contact. At fullback, Louise Erikson was the consummate last line of defence and secret weapon on attack. She chose some really sharp running angles and her timing, reading of space and anticipation allowed her to be in the right place at the right time. The CW “Finishers” all added something to the mix when they entered the game. Chelsey Ferguson stepping into the front row hooking position and equipping herself well, Claire Fioretti and Kennedy Whosit in the centers and debutant Faith Ribino. Well done team.
Special mention must be made for the bubbling ball of energy in the #9 jersey, Lauren Sargent. In the words of Coach Robinson: “She was amazing. She did everything for the team except push in the scrums and jump in the lineouts. Her workrate and communication were very good and will only improve as she gets fitter and more comfortable with the players around her. Some of her tackling was a top notch, not just for the technical execution, but also for the fact that she often had to make the right read and hunt down the ball carrier.” Also of note was Lauren’s replacement Sinead “Irish” Byrne who added to tradition of small chatty players with sharp passes. Sinead got the team out of danger on a couple of occasions with her strong kicking skills. In another example of unselfish play while trying to prevent a try by getting her arm underneath the ball, Sinead unfortunately sustained an injury to her collar bone that will see her sidelined. In all, a 30 -20 bonus point win for a great start to the season. (ed. Thanks to The Sage for such insightful dissection.)