‘Younger, smaller’ CDS rugby girls still finding success

May 18, 2016   ·   0 Comments

The CDS girls rugby team (blue) defeated Lakefield College School 35-5 last Wednesday to finish the CISAA season undefeated.

By Jake Courtepatte
The Country Day School girls’ rugby team of 2016 has picked up exactly where they left off in 2015: winning game after game.
Having won their 11th CISAA Championship in a row last May, the team has played to a 3-0 regular season record this year, running over their opponents in the process. Opening at home against Greenwood College School in late April, they defeated the Grizzlies 36-7 before laying a 39-0 beating on Trinity College School followed by a score of 35-5 over Lakefield College School last week.
It’s quite a feat, considering the team fields only four Grade 12 players.
“We graduated a large group of Grade 12 players last year,” said head coach Dave Downer. “Although we still have large numbers of students, we have a younger and physically smaller group of athletes. The bulk of our group are in Grades 9 or 11. We have had to adapt our style of play and so far it’s worked.”
A program that has been continually evolving into a perennial powerhouse over most of the last two decades, Downer has seen his team come together to hopefully bring home a 12th-straight championship in his third year on the job.
“The group is striving to be faster and smarter. The girls have become tremendous ruckers, ensuring that we keep more possession of the ball and they’ve become fierce counter-attackers and opportunists. We try to be a threat in all areas of the field. While all of our CDS teams have been spirited, this group has even closer bonds since they know they need to rely on each other just a bit more.”
The Cyclones opened the post-season against Trinity College School of the West division on Wednesday, the winner moving on to the CISAA final one week later.
It’s a familiar match-up: CDS defeated TCS in the championship game in both of the last two seasons. The Cyclones also faced a rare defeat to TCS earlier this season in a tournament in British Columbia.
“They would dearly like to beat us this week and we’re equally determined to keep that from happening,” said Downer. “This is shaping up to be a memorable match.”
(Results unavailable at press time.)



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