An injury-racked Shawnigan Lake School team emerged victorious from a close battle with Brentwood College in the Vancouver Island AA girls rugby championship game at Brentwood last Saturday.
The 15-12 score was perfectly indicative of how close the teams were in the competition.
"It could have gone either way," Shawnigan head coach Mark Hall said. "Brentwood was a muchimproved team from the first time we played them, and I think it is safe to say that we limped into this game with all sorts of injuries."
Both of Shawnigan’s starting centres have suffered season-ending injuries, and their starting scrum-half played in the centre on Saturday with a sprained ankle.
Shawnigan got a particularly strong game from five members of their forward pack, led by Chelsea Finnerty.
"We dominated at the breakdown, turning over many Brentwood balls," Hall commented. "Our scrummaging was solid but we struggled in the line out as we have all season."
Brentwood coach Marius Felix had a similar assessment. "While an even battle for many parts of the game, the difference was Shawnigan’s ability to win the breakdown battles and turnover possession," he said. "While this is an issue we can address between now and the provincials, Shawnigan were deserving winners on the day."
Scoring tries for Brentwood were Nambi Mbaja and Katrina Florez, while McKenna Haz kicked a conversion.
Both teams are heading to the provincial championships on May 22-24 in Port Alberni, and both are considered contenders.
"We have two weeks to prepare for the provincials, and we look forward to working on our areas of weakness heading into them," Hall said. "It looks like a strong field in the AA with Abbotsford, Robert Bateman, and our rivals Brentwood all looking to win the banner."