By Darren Lum
Published Oct. 18 2016
Amid the jubilant gathering and the smiling faces on players sitting and crouching on the pitch it would be difficult to know the Red Hawks girls rugby team lost a hard fought 19-7 game to the visiting Thunder of St. Mary’s from Cobourg in Kawartha High School Rugby League action.
That’s what happened and for good reason since the team showed a dramatic turnaround two days after its home opener 31-5 loss to the (at the time) league leading Spartans of Lindsay Collegiate Vocational Institute.
In this earlier game the team faired poorly on both sides of the ball (with a few exceptions such as a try running score by Carmen Galea set up by a huge run by Chloe Samson) unable to equal their performances in two close losses to start the season.
Although the Hawks lost by a pair of tries and one two-point convert against the Thunder on Friday the team was beaming and speaking with pride not just about the effort but in their execution to attack and to cover the opponents’ ball carriers and to support one another in defensive coverage during rucks and in scrums.
The team has come a long way from just learning the game to becoming competitive this season. They had one not so great game to one that the Hawks players can remember fondly. Both games last week were against the top three of the Kawartha league.
Like the entire Hawks coaching staff coach Carson MacDonald couldn’t have been prouder of his squad who was psyched up and motivated by the coaching staff to be more focused than against the Spartans.
“They did awesome. They were just in the game more. The other team had a lot of dropped balls … which gave us possession a lot more but they were a good team” he said.
The lone try came from a run by fourth year player Victoria Archibald and the two-point convert came from the foot of scrumhalf and captain Mikayla Stinson who had just minutes before.
The team has just one game (and one game was played on Monday against the Norwood Knights the paper went to press) left in the regular season at home on Tuesday against Port Hope High School. Kick off is at 3 p.m. Game is subject to change.
MacDonald expects his team to win these games and enter the Kawartha league semi-finals as the fifth seed among the seven schools. Port Hope has allowed more than 200 points in four games versus less than 90 for Haliburton.
Even if the coach’s prediction is wrong all teams in the league make the semi-finals scheduled Oct 27.