Photo by Marc Lafleur
OTTAWA – Ravens rugby wasted no time getting back to their offensive ways on Sunday, scoring early and often in the first half on route to a 48-0 win over the visiting Bishop’s Gaiters.
It was another weekend of scoring by committee for the Ravens who had tries from six different players. Claire File (Milton, Ont.) opened the scoring in the third minute setting the table for an offensive first half. After strong pushback from the Gaiters the Ravens would reestablish pressure in the twentieth minute establishing crisp ball movement before Kaitlyn Cox (Fall River, N.S.) would plunge over the try line.
Battling a wet ball and cold conditions the Ravens continued to use their depth on the attack to push the Gaiters back, scoring again in the 29th minute when Malak Saif El Nasr (Ottawa, Ont.) broke through a pair of would-be tacklers before finding open field. Lauryn Walker (Ottawa, Ont.) and Vanessa Chiappetta (Rigaud, Que.) would add to the scoring while co-captain Roberta Drummond (Belleville, Ont.) would add a successful penalty to her three first-half conversions giving the Ravens a 34-0 lead at the break.
The Ravens would battle through adversity in the second half of the game, twice playing short while players visited the bin. Shortly after return to a full compliment, co-captain Anastasia Bourka (Ottawa, Ont.) would complete another strong drive extending the Ravens’ lead to 39.
While short for the second time in the game, the Ravens demonstrate great flair with the ball creating gaps in the Bishop’s defence with a number of impressive dummy runs and switches in the backfield. Adjusting their attack to the elements, the Ravens found themselves in a more tactical kicking game, where they continued to use the boot – including a pair of impressive grubbers to consistently hold Bishop’s at bay. Walker’s late try with under ten minutes to play would be the exclamation point on the Ravens’ day.
The Ravens’ ability to adapt to the conditions was not lost on coach David Luong. “I think we played pretty well,” said Luong, adding “I think we adjusted after the first couple knock-ons, knowing that we just had to tighten up a bit. We put the ball up in the air and we moved the ball that way, and they stuck to their game-plan which was really great to see.”
Recognizing their depth, coach Luong highlighted how the team was able to adapt to the weather and still find success. “Our kick-chase was really good today.”
Forward Lauryn Walker would support her coach’s opinion. “We’ve been training in the rain for a while, so it wasn’t that much of a shock,” said Walker, adding that the team was able to use their training and preparation to adjust to the weather. Walker would go on to say, “We had a couple of mistakes, a couple of dropped balls, but our team just adjusted and let the rain work to our advantage.”
After a year away from competitive action, Walker and her teammates are embracing every second of their newfound success. “I couldn’t be any happier, we’re riding on a high right now, being able to work with these girls and get the results that we’re getting is really exciting.”