By Garrett Simmons
Westwind Weekly News
The Raymond Comets high school girls rugby teams continue to roll along.
Last week in league play, the senior and junior varsity teams took decisive wins over their city rivals from Lethbridge Collegiate Institute.
The seniors prevailed by a score of 53-0, in a game that put Raymond’s teamwork at the forefront.
“The kids played really, really good, because LCI is pretty strong this year,” said coach Dan Bikman, who cited his team’s ability to hold on to the ball for long stretches as the difference in the contest. “Our possession was awesome.”
Raymond was able to methodically move the ball down the field, using multiple passes per trip down the field, for a number of scores that LCI simply could not match.
“There were multiple phases to our scores,” said Bikman. “Some of them were 15-20 phase tries. That’s encouraging because that’s really hard to do.”
That fundamental team rugby set the Comets up for success all night, as Raymond ballcarriers routinely took the ball into contact and kept possession.
“They played really good team rugby and that’s really fun to watch as a coach,” said Bikman.
The JV team won by a 60-0 count, as Bikman added Raymond’s outside speed was too much for LCI. It was a bit of a contrast from the senior game, as the junior team’s speed led to number of long runs for scores.
On Tuesday night, Raymond continued league play, and took a pair of home field victories over Taber’s W.R. Myers. The SV team rattled off a 97-0 win, while the JV squad battled to a much closer 27-5 victory.
Last weekend also featured the last in a string of rugby 7s tournaments, and once again, Raymond went 3-1, with a loss to LCI. This time, the Comets fell 20-10, as the third time was not a charm for a Raymond squad that has not been able to solve LCI in a trio of opportunities.
Raymond has been able to narrow the gap, however, after a decisive loss in the first meeting between the teams.
“We’re working better as a team, communicating better and have a better commitment to tackling,” said Bikman, who added unlike in 15s, where there’s multiple layers of defence, a missed tackle in 7s often leads to a score.
The 7s team is now off until zones, set for May 19.
The seniors 15s team will be in Red Deer this weekend for a tournament, while the JV team will split into Raymond Red and Raymond White teams to participate in a JV festival, hosted by Winston Churchill High School.