This past Saturday AU played against University of Maryland, a Division I squad. Although the final score indicates a loss for the AU record book, our team played one of the best rugby games our coach and fans watched on the sidelines. Last week, UMD defeated Georgetown by an almost 80 point margin, so AU was quite pleased with a final score of 5-25.
Here’s a recap from head coach, Roly Pratt:
“A Side: Today you went up against a very well drilled UMD side and came up short. But as you all know, that does not really tell the story, for large portions of the game we dominated; today each and every one of you stood up tall and were not to be pushed around.
We made much better decisions when under pressure. Our rucking, which was such a focus for us this week, was one thousand times better. Our forwards finally stepped up and played to the potential that I knew they had in them. Led by your captain Kara, you continually disrupted and stole UMD rucks. Our line out was way better all day and our scrum not only held up, but stole some of their ball.
The backs had a tough day. So close and yet very little reward all day. To start, your backs captain Abe was on the sideline and we were forced to change around the line. We inserted two brand new rookies and quickly a third when Coyle came off. The best compliment I can pay is that you couldn’t tell which players had the experience and which did not. After a period of sustained pressure from both forwards and backs, the ball made it out to Shannon who broke her opposite numbers tackle then eluded the full back to score the try.
B Side: I will refrain from talking about all the A side girls who stepped in, for the B siders had great performances. A clear woman of the match had to be Abbie; her offload to Mac was fantastic. Kelly and Tater also need to get a final mention for playing their first A side minutes and doing so well.”
Women of the match include: For our forwards, Kara, for being an instrumental part of dominating the rucks and winning line outs. Not only did she help offensively to keep the AU ball, but she led the team into stealing UMD ball as well. For the backs, Shannon, for her little piece of magic resulting in AU’s lone try on the A side. A very honorable mention goes out to Navy who never made a mistake all day and scored a stunning try in the B side game.