Women’s rugby out for revenge vs. Mcgill

It’s hard to find another Concordia team that has more reason for vengeance than the Women’s Rugby team.
Concordia has been runners-up to flawless McGill performances for the past two years, losing close championship games to McGill twice. Though Concordia took the championship three years ago, they were denied a spot in the nationals last year, an honour usually bestowed on the top two teams from every division, when the hosting Bishop’s team squeezed their way into the tournament.
Now with the all the hopes and possibilities of a new season opening this weekend, one must ask how can they overcome McGill this time? According to Head coach Sheila Turner, “we need to work on continuity.”
Last season Concordia was a dominating crew with a fearsome defence, but throughout the season, the team needed to work on keeping possession of the ball, and cleaner passes. Last year in six matches against Sherbrooke, University of Ottawa, and Bishop’s, Concordia didn’t give up a point, while racking up double-digit scores in every game.
However it was practically the opposite against McGill, whose persistent offence swarmed over Concordia. It wasn’t until the championship game that the Stingers proved they could hold their own against the Martlets, coming within a try of McGill.
This year’s squad will have to deal with the departure of their back line of veterans, says Turner.
This includes strong tackler Lauren Arner, side-line jumper Margo Legault, and their strongest offensive threat, former captain Candice Patterson. “Candice used to be the go-to player, which means this year the whole team has to step up, which is fine,” explained Turner.
Another disappointing loss is former assistant coach Margaret Thompson who is now with McGill. However Turner is pleased with the large number of new and talented players who have shown up for early practices, including ex-McGill player Katie Renwick. Veterans will be expected to help lead the team to another successful season, like new captain Sommer Christie and Joanne Auger, both of whom played for the Canada U-23 team. Christie is also playing for the Quebec senior team and is being considered for the Canadian squad at the women’s rugby world cup in 2002.
Turner is happy that Concordia will face McGill early in the season, so they can get an idea what to expect from them come playoffs. “They don’t change much during the season, whereas we do, which is good,” said Turner.
Turner, who played for the team before coaching returns for her fifth year at the helm. Last weekend she represented Quebec at the Nationals.
The women’s rugby team kicks off their season on Sunday Sept. 9 at 1 p.m. when Bishop’s visits Loyola field.

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