By Garrett Simmons
Westwind Weekly News
To say the Raymond Comets girls rugby program has been dominant this season would be a massive understatement.
Raymond rolled to a pair of league wins last week over Winston Churchill High School by scores of 70-0 in the senior varsity contest and 50-0 in the junior game.
Last week’s lopsided senior victory did include a very competitive first half, however, as the WCHS defence held strong for the early portion of the game.
“The first half was really close, and Winston played good defence and hit us hard,” said Comets coach Dan Bikman, whose team carried a 15-0 advantage into the break. “It was tough, and our kids felt quite a bit of pressure.”
That pressure was quickly relieved in the second half, as Raymond scored early and often to take over the game. Once again, the Comets pitched another shutout, as Churchill rarely had opportunities to put a dent in the Raymond lead.
“The first part is we don’t have to play defence much because the possession ratio is so high in our favour,” said Bikman, who added when his team does not have the ball, his players have the required tenacity to get it back very quickly.
Raymond’s attention to fitness is another factor, according to the coach, as the Comets continually showcase the ability to run away with games in the second half. Coupled with the team’s overall athleticism and depth, it makes for a tough day at the office for teams hoping to put points on the board.
Those traits were put on display once again on the weekend in Edmonton, in a 16-team tournament where the Comets went 4-0 on the way to a tournament title.
Raymond ran roughshod over Paul Kane, Lloydminster, Harry Ainlay and Sturgeon Composite to post a perfect record, and an impressive 250-0 point differential.
“The teams got progressively stronger,” said Bikman, who added the Sturgeon outfit gave his team the toughest test. “But with our depth and fitness, we were able to find holes in the defence and move the ball.”
Sturgeon Composite did force the Comets to adjust and find different ways to put up points.
“They have some size up the middle and some speed on the outside,” said Bikman, who added his team was unable to score on the outside, and adjusted to work the ball slower up the middle. “A lot of players touched the ball and it really made us work as a team.”
Raymond now prepares for a road game today against Medicine Hat High, before a May 13-14 tournament in Red Deer. This weekend, the Comets will also participate in a sevens tournament in Vulcan.