Winning three matches in a row is too good to be true for the undefeated women’s team at the St. Albert Rugby Football Club.
“Oh, man! It’s just such a dream. We would’ve never had this happen to us last year,” exclaimed inside-centre Krysta Florence, the women’s club captain on the SARFC board, after Saturday’s 47-22 throttling of the Grande Prairie Sirens at Alpine field.
“We’ve only played three games this season and won every single one of them. That’s just amazing for us and we’re all feeding off it. Every single day we’re just so excited. Girls show up for practice and when it’s game time everyone is stoked.”
The last two years in the Edmonton Rugby Union spring league and second division fixtures the SARFC ladies celebrated only two wins while drowning their sorrows over countless losses.
“We just want to prove to everybody that this is not just a fluke. This is us this year, we’re ready to go and be victorious,” Florence said.
SARFC crossed the try line nine times while posting leads of 5-0 after the first quarter, 20-10 at halftime and 25-10 after three quarters.
“These girls were very good on defence. They knew how to hold us back but we still found a way to power through and score all those tries,” Florence said. “Our offloads were really strong today. We had a lot of flow play so one girl would get it and the next one was there and we just made that work for us.”
Despite a dominating opening quarter, SARFC managed only one try as standoff Katie Davis, the team’s on-field captain, opened the scoring in the 14th minute off a pick and go from only inches in front of the try area.
Five minutes into the second quarter Katelyn Moorehouse finished off a thunderous run by Brie Gray.
The Sirens replied with a pair of quick tries to knot it at 10. The equalizer was a long dash down the try line.
SARFC quickly regained the lead on tries by Samantha Schulz and Mackenzie Doughty.
A steal by Helen Jones inside the Sirens’ 22-metre line set up Schulz’s determined effort in tight of the try line.
After the try the Sirens kicked off to SARFC and Jones got the ladies rolling forward with a strong burst. The ball exchanged several hands before Doughty scored to close out the half.
“They got a few tries against us but we never got discouraged. We just came back at them even harder and kept it up,” Florence said.
The only scoring in the third quarter was Kirsten Porter’s try off a pick-and-go. A bruising romp by Megan Lauer past the halfway line got the wheels rolling on the play.
The teams combined for six tries during a scorefest in the last quarter. Danica Dreger’s try under the posts was converted by Davis. Five minutes later Davis shredded tackles along the touchline off a penalty play. On the kickoff Sabrina Kelly ran the ball back into the try area with authority to make it 42-10 with eight minutes to play.
The Sirens added two tries and one conversion before Davis’ hat-trick try ended the game.
Florence, 20, stressed it wasn’t an easy win despite the 25-point spread.
“It was a very physical game,” she said. “The big thing was we never let them get us down. We kept playing hard and ended up with the victory.”
The high school rugby product of the Paul Kane Blues is confident the team will continue its rapid rise to contender status as the season unfolds.
“We have a lot more girls this year, which definitely helps. It doesn’t help to have just 12 girls every game like last year,” Florence said. “We have a lot of strong players who came back (to SARFC), like Megan Lauer and Sabrina Kelly. Helen Jones (former Irish national team player and Strathcona Druid) is here with us. We also have Byron (Elliott, the head coach), too. Byron has been such a blessing to us. He’s such a great coach. He’s taught us so much and you can tell he cares a lot, which helps us feed off what he does and makes us real eager to be here.”
Tonight at 7 p.m. SARFC visits the Druids at the Lynn Davies fields in Sherwood Park.