It took a few minutes, but the Stingers women’s rugby team came together to trounce the Bishop’s Gaiters 51-0 in their season opener Sunday afternoon at Loyola.
“We played well. You never know in the first game. The first half was just getting used to each other and we picked it up in the second half,” said captain Sommer Christie.
The Stingers dominated from the start, scoring two tries in the first half.
Then, five minutes into the second half, Christie, who moved back to her natural position at scrum-half after starting as fly-half, scored a try on a 25 yard run.
Less than a minute later, Christie had broken through on the left side.
With one defender left, she chipped the ball over the defenders head and headed to the goal line with the ball in hand. She was about to cross into the end-zone, when the Bishop’s defender tackled her from behind.
Christie missed the goal line, but the Stingers were awarded a penalty try on the play. After making the conversion, the Stingers were up 22-0 six minutes into the second half.
The Stingers added five more tries, to bring the final score to 51-0.
“We were sloppy in the first half, but we had a good second half,” said coach Sheila Turner.
“I’m surprised things came together so well in the second half and I’m impressed at how the girls adapted.”
Another surprise was the performance of Melissa Dykeman in her first game at full-back.
In only her second season playing rugby, Dykeman showed promise as a full-back.
Dykeman, who played in the WNFL two years ago, said she enjoyed the extra room to run with the ball at full-back compared to inside center.
The team is expecting a bigger challenge when they face the McGill Martlets on Wednesday night at McGill.
Turner feels they need to work on their support when the ball in is contact, because it is unlikely they will be able to make big runs like they did against Bishop’s.