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SARFC women tackle Clan

Big game kicks off at 7 p.m. tonight at Alpine field

By: Jeff Hansen

  |  Posted: Wednesday, Jun 25, 2014 06:00 am

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  • SPLITTING THE DEFENCE - Kiera Arndt of the St. Albert Rugby Football Club plows through the Parkland Sharks in Saturday's 80-5 drubbing at Ellerslie Rugby Park. SARFC is 5-1 in the Edmonton Rugby Union spring league seeding round entering tonight's tilt against the Clan (6-0). Kickoff is 7 p.m. at Alpine field.
    SPLITTING THE DEFENCE - Kiera Arndt of the St. Albert Rugby Football Club plows through the Parkland Sharks in Saturday's 80-5 drubbing at Ellerslie Rugby Park. SARFC is 5-1 in the Edmonton Rugby Union spring league seeding round entering tonight's tilt against the Clan (6-0). Kickoff is 7 p.m. at Alpine field.
    CHRIS COLBOURNE/St. Albert Gazette
  • FRONT RUNNER - McKenzie Pusch of the St. Albert Rugby Football Club legs out a try with teammate Emily Rowse close behind in Saturday's 80-5 blowout of the Parkland Sharks at Ellerslie Rugby Park. Pusch, a U19 junior in her first match with the women's side, scored three of the team's 14 tries.
    FRONT RUNNER - McKenzie Pusch of the St. Albert Rugby Football Club legs out a try with teammate Emily Rowse close behind in Saturday's 80-5 blowout of the Parkland Sharks at Ellerslie Rugby Park. Pusch, a U19 junior in her first match with the women's side, scored three of the team's 14 tries.

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Ellerslie Rugby Park – To be the best you have to beat the best and the St. Albert Rugby Football Club women are in position to pull off the feat tonight against the Clan.

Kickoff is 7 p.m. at Alpine field between SARFC – 5-1 after pounding the winless Parkland Sharks 80-5 Saturday – and the 6-0 Clan in the Edmonton Rugby Union spring league’s seeding round.

“It’s going to be a very good game. They’re going to be a tough team and we’re going to match them. We’re going to come out with a force,” declared Katelyn Moorhouse after gutting the Sharks with four tries.

The Clan are plus-158 in points for/against, four more than SARFC, and have five bonus points in six wins compared to three for the ladies in red and blue.

“We will definitely have to start from a defensive side. We have to all rush together as in a line,” Moorhouse said.

The spring league’s nine-team round robin ends next Wednesday when SARFC hosts the Lep/Tigers (6-1) at 7 p.m. at Alpine field. The only loss for the LTs was 15-7 to the Clan. The LTs are one of two ERU clubs to field teams in the Alberta women’s premier league.

The top two finishers earn promotions into the Alberta first division for a home and away series with two Calgary teams starting July 12. The rest of the teams compete in the ERU division two fixtures.

The last match before the Sharks was the 29-12 loss to the Pirates (3-2) in a torrential downpour June 4 as SARFC didn’t give up a point in the second half.

“It wasn’t a bad game under the circumstances,” said Moorhouse, who scored a try in the setback at the Pirates Rugby Club.

The previous week SARFC also persevered in the rain to knock off the Strathcona Druids (2-5) at Lynn Davies Rugby Park in Sherwood Park.

SARFC battened down the hatches in the second half after scoring all their points in the second quarter to lead 12-5.

“It was the same kind of scenario against the Pirates with the rain and muddy fields. The ball wasn’t exactly being brought up cleanly and there was a lot of knock-ons,” Moorhouse said. “To be able to face a very strong physical team like that and still come out leading is a pretty good sign. If we come out with that same intensity we should succeed in our next couple of games.”

SARFC didn’t lower its high standards against the ERU’s weakest team while strafing the Sharks with 14 tries and captain Katie Davis kicked five conversions.

The Sharks recorded their only try late in the first half after SARFC scored seven times, including three tries in the opening 10 minutes.

McKenzie Pusch, a U19 player and Bellerose Bulldog, ripped up the pitch for three tries in her SARFC women’s debut.

“We didn’t come into this game complacent. We knew who we were facing and we saw where they were in the standings (522 points against in six losses) but we didn’t let that affect us at all,” said Moorhouse, 21, a Bellerose high school rugby product who played scrum-half before shifting to fullback in the last quarter.

“We always got the ball out wide and we were able to blow by their defence. We just keep scoring and Katie got her kicks in.”


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