Natasha Smith missed the cut for the national women’s rugby XV team travelling squad after a camp at Shawnigan Lake School last week, but her performance in the Cowichan Rugby Football Club’s latest premiership match might have the coaches rethinking their decision.
Smith scored six tries last Saturday as Cowichan upended a strong Seattle Saracens team 66-47 at the Herd Road pitch.
“Unfortunately, Natasha didn’t make the team but she didn’t skip a beat,” Cowichan forward Sherry Spence reported.
It looked like it might be a tough day for the Cowichan players, who were taking on the No.2-ranked Seattle team without captain Laura Russell, Kelly Russell and Tyson Beukeboom, who cracked the lineup for the national team. Kelly Russell is serving as Canada’s captain for the Can-Am Series against the U.S. in San Diego.
It did take Cowichan some time to get going, Spence noted. Things went back and forth early on, with the Saracens scoring a few tries.
“There were a few errors due to people playing out of position,” Spence said. “But we took the time to address a couple of those things.”
Seattle knocked the ball on just ahead of the line, and that was the turning point.
“We knew we could compete against this team,” Spence said.
In addition to the six tries from Smith, Cowichan got three from Carolyn Gudmundseth and one from Quinn Battie, while Avi Sharabi slotted eight conversions. Natasha Smith and Ashley Smith were named Players of the Game.
The Piggies will look to continue their success when they travel to Seattle for a rematch next weekend.
“We are hoping to have another upset, but we realize it’s a massive feat with such long travel before a game,” Spence said. “But we’re ready for it.”