Shawnigan beats Brentwood for Island AA girls rugby title

Shawnigan Lake School will head to the provincial AA girls rugby tournament as Island champions.

Shawnigan Lake School will head to the provincial AA girls rugby tournament as Island champions after a comprehensive 77-0 win over Brentwood College on Saturday.

“The girls played excellent and are really buying in to the team and our systems that we have implemented,” Shawnigan coach Laura Russell said. “Every time we challenge them to get better, they step up. We are very much looking forward to provincials but know there are many strong teams there, that we will have to prepare for in these next two weeks.”

Shawnigan’s big lead allowed them to get everyone on the field.

“All of our girls got in,” Russell said. “It was good to see everyone slide in seamlessly.”

Although the game ended in a blowout, Russell gave full credit to her team’s opponents.

“Brentwood never gave up the whole time,” she said.

Both teams will head to provincials in Kamloops next week, and Shawnigan’s goal is to win the B.C. AA banner. Russell said this is the strongest team she has seen in her three years coaching at the school.

The squad’s biggest strength, she said, is team cohesiveness.

“We have a lot of good leaders and strong ball-carriers,” she said.

Chief among those leaders is team captain Holly Henderson.

“She’s definitely one of the most solid players on our team,” Russell stated.

The field at provincials will be a deep one, but Russell believes her team can compete.

“We have a lot of youth, so we’re a high-energy team,” she said. “They want to work for each other and play well.”