It was a home opener the Banff women’s rugby team would like to forget.
Shut out in their own backyard, the squad dropped a 27-0 decision to the Calgary Rams in Calgary Rugby Union action at the Banff Rec Grounds, Saturday (June 4).
The loss leaves the girls winless for the season and outscored to the tune of 108-14, as the upstart Banff squad had seven rookies in the lineup still learning the game.
“It was a tough match today. Those girls have played together for four years and we’re a new team,” said captain Katie Young.
“They had a stronger forward pack and were able to ruck the balls a little more. We held our defence and that was good,” Young said.
Since they were stuck playing defence for the majority of the match, there was little time for offence, Young said. When they did get the ball, they turned it over against the bigger squad.
Facing a bigger, stronger and tougher Rams team, Banff fell behind 12-0 in the first half, as they consistently lost battles in the ruck.
Banff held the Rams offence for much of the second half, but were worn down in the final minutes, giving up two tries in the twilight of the match.
Young was happy with the girls’ tackling skills, however.
“Tackling is something we don’t have to worry about. We have to work on aggression and confidence with the new girls… they have to learn to go into a hit with full force and not worry about hurting the other girls,” Young said.
Young has seen this pattern before, as Banff’s women’s squad is a notoriously slow starter. However, she is confident the team has potential and will win games this year.
“There is still lots of potential. The beginning is about recruiting and the end is about winning games,” Young said.
Having played shorthanded several times this season, the team was fortunate to have a full lineup.
With so many new faces, veteran Skye Sinclair said there is a tough learning curve every year with the squad. She believes more time on the field will help the team gel. Against the Rams, Sinclair said Banff were pushed around too much and had trouble with field position.
“We have to push upfield against the girls and keep them there. It was back and forth too much today,” Sinclair said.
The team’s next home game is June 11 at the Rec Grounds.
In men’s action, the Banff Rugby Football club dropped a 35-28 decision against the Calgary Saints. The team is looking forward to their home opener on Saturday, where, according to Cody Skrine, the team looks to re-establish its unbeaten home record. The team had gone three years without a loss at home until the Calgary Irish defeated them last year.