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Junior girls rugby earn perfect end to perfect season

Posted on May 27, 2014 by Taber Times

Taber Junior Varsity Rugby is not only healthy in its second year of operation – this season, it’s perfect. The Taber Rebels J.V. girls rugby team wrapped up a tournament over the weekend in Medicine Hat where they went a perfect 4-0. The event was the perfect ending to a perfect season for the junior squad.

“It was a great season for the J.V. girls,” said coach Andrew Llewelyn-Jones.

The J.V. Festival featured stiff competition from the likes of the host team, along with Winston Churchill High School in Lethbridge, F.P. Walshe High School in Fort Macleod, and Raymond High School. The Rebels stormed the tournament and beat every team with a high pressure defence which was nearly perfect – the only team to even put points on the board against the Rebels was F.P. Walshe during the final game. In spite of the dominant performance, Llewelyn-Jones said the games were tough on the girls and competition was fierce.

“The competition was tougher,” he said. “It was a great way to finish up the season.”

He also noted the growing popularity of girls Rugby in Taber, as the teams are getting stronger every year and support in the community grows as players and their families learn more about the game.

“A lot of them have never seen the game before,” he said. “It’s completely alien to them. It’s not basketball, it’s not soccer, it’s not volleyball. But once they get it, everybody is into the game.”

The J.V. Rebels have had a defence-first mentality all season, playing tough ball against other teams and forcing their opponents to make mistakes. Llewelyn-Jones said it was this pressure defence mentality was a large part of their success this year, but there were other parts of the girls’ game which came together as well.

“It really worked well for us,” he said. “Our defensive line speed was very good; our tackling was phenomenal. Once you have a (that), other teams will make mistakes and then we capitalize on those.”

“We’re extremely pleased with how the junior varsity team went.”

Llewelyn-Jones said while the Grade 10 players will be moving on to the senior varsity team next year, there is every indication the team will mostly be intact next year, with Grade 9 girls moving into the senior position on the team and a fresh crop of eager new players looking to get their hands dirty on the field.

“The program is growing from strength to strength at this point,” he said.

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