June 16th, 2024

LCI using zone loss as motivation heading into provincials

By Lethbridge Herald on June 8, 2023.

By Justin Seward

Lethbridge Herald

 LCI’s senior girls rugby team are going into this weekend’s provincials as the  south Tier 1 wildcard team after losing the zone final to Raymond on Monday.

LCI felt lucky to play Raymond in zones, despite the 24-15 loss.

“It sets the bar and shows us sort of where we need to be if we want to compete at provincials,” said head coach Sam Wright.

“And the difference between our first game this year versus Raymond compared to the Zone final, we improved so much. And the girls absolutely executed a game plan and we were really close in that game and the feeling from the team after the game was so incredibly positive, like everyone was just like we want to play them again. Like we know that if we get a chance against Raymond again, that our best effort’s going to be there and we want to see them in the gold medal game.”

Wright said all 25 girls on the roster are putting in so much effort.

“They’re staying positive no matter how the game is going and we’ve had a really awesome record, which I think speaks to that of just like how good of group they are,” said Wright.

“We’ve sort of implemented some new strategies, (and) some new stuff on defence that we sort of threw at them a bit last minute and now we’re at the point where we’re executing those things. It’s really cool to see them taking everything that we’ve coached them throughout the year and now they’re applying those things and I mean we’re going to provincials. So it’s obviously working out alright.”

The coaching staff will be looking for a 100 per cent effort from the players this weekend in Calgary.

“Like we can’t have people trying to take a couple plays off,” she said.

“Like I’ve just asked them to work your butt off as long as you’re out there. If you get to the point where you need a sub, we’ve got 10 more girls that are totally able and willing to go in and get playing time. So, I just want to see them try as hard as they can (and) have some fun while they’re there. They know the little things they need to do in order to succeed. So if we can just implement all those little things and work hard the whole time then they’re bound for success.”

Wright thinks the team has to “super adaptable” with the unfamiliarity in opponents.

“We’re hoping to implement all the skills that they’re going to need against various teams,” said Wright.

“And then hope that we have the ability to recognize pretty quickly like in a game if we need to switch up the style of defence we’re playing or if we need to be getting more to the outside versus the inside. Like all those kinds of things. So we’re just making sure the girls are aware of like all of our levels of playing, so that we can adapt as needed because the games are shorter, especially on Saturday. We play two 40-minute games instead of 60. So we have to be on our toes and ready to adapt really quickly.”

LCI will open up ASAA Provincials against Calgary’s Notre Dame today at 11:45 a.m.

The schedule and results can be found at www. asaa.ca. under the Provincial Championships tab. Games go Friday and Saturday in Calgary.

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