The Marauders women’s rugby team was able to pull off a win against the Western Mustangs to score an OUA bronze medal in miserable weather conditions.
The weather posed a challenge for both teams, as the combination of torrential downpour and rugby cleats made the ground very muddy, which increased the number of errors throughout the game.
“There were increased handling errors which is never ideal and the ground was not very solid at all. I know that the forwards, especially the front row had a difficult time adjusting to the adverse conditions. But eventually we were able to modify our game and play more our style,” said Marauders captain, Cindy Nelles.
Although the weather was bad, Nelles was able to find some positives that put them at an advantage in the game.
“I think that the conditions although adverse did play out to our advantage because we are a team that can execute fancy plays but can also break it down to the nitty gritty rucks and mauls type of game that a rainy muddy field provides.”
The Marauders executed a number of those fancy plays to get to a score of 26-5 over the Mustangs, a win that brought Mac to it’s second bronze medal in a row.
This was Nelles first bronze medal, however, as she was injured for the bronze medal match last season. Although the medal did not match up with her season goals, she believes that they proved themselves in their game and out-played the Western team.
“It was not our ideal outcome seeing as how we had our hopes set on going to nationals, but we made the most of being in the bronze medal match against Western and we were able to physically dominate them, so as far as our performance in the game, I’m pleased,” said Nelles.
As captain of the team, Nelles felt as though she had a great season as well, and proved to do better than last year.
“Individually I am proud of my season, being one of the leaders on the team was a bit of an adjustment but I feel that I was able to balance that with making my return to Mac Rugby after having a rough season last year.”
Now, the captain will continue to train hard, in order to make the national senior women’s team.
“I really want to make it to that level and think that with the support here at McMaster, and all the training and guidance that athletes are provided here, it can really help me along that journey.”
As for the rest of the team, they will be gearing up to compete in a couple of indoor tournaments, and they will also be training for a tournament in BC in March.
“There are a few sevens tournaments scattered throughout the winter and I know we will be looking to assemble some players to attend those tournaments.”
The team will look ahead to the winter season to train hard, and hopefully qualify for the CIS Championships next year.