By Woodard, Dale on September 22, 2017.
Under some chilly conditions, the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns women’s rugby team kicked off its Canada West season with a big test.
Hosting the defending Canada West champion Calgary Dinos Thursday night at the University of Lethbridge Stadium, the Horns were defeated 42-15.
On a night when the Pronghorns observed a pre-game moment of silence for former head coach Ric Suggit, who passed away in June, the Pronghorns were first on the scoresheet, but a slew of penalties opened the door for the Dinos to take a 22-12 lead at halftime as Vulcan’s Daleaka Menin ran for five tries for Calgary.
“The penalties killed us,” said Pronghorns head coach Neil Langevin. “We’ll have to look at the tape and see what they (penalties) were for. Other than that, I thought our defence was solid. It’s hard to say with that many points. But they only had one true line break and try off of that. I thought our offence was quite good.”
The Pronghorns hit the scoreboard 1:16 into the match on a try from Abigail Deguid and added another from returnee Sarah Gordon or a 12-5 lead.
The Horns added convert in the second half and nearly struck for one more try in the final minutes, but a ruled forward pass snuffed out the drive.
The penalties aside, Langevin credited his team for a gritty effort as the team gets ready to hit the West Coast.
“It’s to be expected,” he said. “A lot of nerves and just the whole emotional situation. Our heart goes out to a lot of the girls. They were hurting, but they played hard.
“For lots of first-year players and lots of young players, I thought we defended fairly well at times. It’s just a young team and lots of mental mistakes. I thought our attack was pretty solid. We looked pretty dangerous when we had the ball. The amount of penalties, we weren’t able to play rugby because of that.”
The Pronghorns hit the road next weekend, Sept. 29 in Victoria against the Vikes, followed by UBC Thunderbirds Oct. 1 in Vancouver.
“We closed the gap on the U of C already from last year,” said Langevin. “There were so many positive signs, we’re targeting to get a win next weekend. UVic is going to be tough, but we would like to get a win somewhere on the coast next week.”
The Pronghorns will host the Alberta Pandas Oct. 14.
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