Hawks stumble into playoffs

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Photo by Heather Davidson
Photo by Heather Davidson

The Wilfrid Laurier University women’s rugby team came up short in securing home field advantage coming into the playoffs.

In a matchup that pitted the girls against cross-town rivals, the Waterloo Warriors, the Hawks played hard but fell to 31-7 to end the season with a record of 2-3.

They played a strong first half, earning a try by second-year Natalie Snyder and a conversion by fourth-year Jennifer Gilmour to take an early 7-0 lead in the first 15 minutes of play. That was all the offence the Hawks could muster, as the Warriors took control of the game.

With late pressure coming in at the end of the half, the Warriors took the lead with two runs by Lauren Mueller. The Warriors were up 12-7 by halftime — two quick tries at the beginning of the second half secured their lead. After that, the Hawks couldn’t keep up.

Waterloo would put one more try on the board from a failed kick that did not manage to clear the Laurier zone to end the game with 31 points.

Head coach Michelle Joslin was happy with the way the Hawks played during the game.

“They came out really hard in the first 15 minutes of the game. We had possession for most of it. We definitely put points on the board first, I think we came really hard and played really well,” she said.

Joslin thought the team played well and showed a strong effort against the Warriors.

She noted that although the Hawks played well, they were unable to maintain their drive for the full 80 minutes of play, even though they were able to strike first and take the early lead.

After a rough finish to the season, Joslin wants the team to take away the positives from the game, going forward into the playoffs.

The club is set to play Guelph, who they lost 48-0 to earlier in the year. According to Joslin, playing against a familiar opponent in Guelph along with a vast improvement from the Hawks throughout the season will be critical to their success in the playoffs.

Going into next week, Joslin is looking for the Hawks to step up and be able to go back to basics, if they are looking to make a deep run into the playoffs.

“On a day like today where the wind was pretty crazy, it doesn’t matter how many wide back plays you can do, you need to do the basics well and get possession,” she said.

The Hawks will play their quarterfinal game against the Guelph Gryphons on Oct. 10 at 5 p.m.


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