WINDSOR, N.S. — The coaches of Avon View and King’s-Edgehill School’s senior girls’ rugby teams are hoping to face off again later this month, but first, they must advance to the regional final.
May 17 marked the last day of regular season play in the Valley High School Rugby League for AV and KES and the teams played a hard-fought match.
At stake was placement in the semi-finals.
“We really wanted this game, even more than the (upcoming) divisional final,” said Jim Bryan, Avon View’s athletic director and head senior girls coach.
“We didn’t want to play Horton again. The loser had to play them. They’re kind of an x-factor team. They have the opportunity to steal a game, depending, so we were both trying to avoid that game,” he said.
“We both wanted it. You could tell. That’s why there was all the energy and physicality.”
Avon View emerged victorious, defeating KES 20-10. They finished first in the league standings and will play the fourth seeded team, Park View Education Centre, in the semi-finals. King’s-Edgehill and Horton will now square off to see who advances to the finals.
Both teams that advance to the finals will compete at provincials.
“The divisional final doesn’t really matter because you both go to provincials and you’re both in different pools that are pretty equal,” said Bryan, noting that they still have their sights set on winning.
Rory Campbell, the senior girls’ head coach, said taking on Avon View is always a challenge.
“Avon View is really good. There’s a reason why they’ve won three provincial championships,” said Campbell.
“I thought penalties really killed us. Good teams in rugby force you to take penalties so we took a lot of penalties. I think that really stopped our flow a little bit,” he said of the May 17 game, adding they had some chances near the end of the match to close the gap but weren’t successful.
Grade 12 students Morgan Rogers, from Chester, and Johanna Grosse, from Germany, played exceptionally well, Campbell said.
Campbell said they have their fingers crossed that they’ll get to meet their Hants County rival in the divisional final.
“If we have our full team out there and we play our best rugby then I think we definitely have a chance,” said Campbell.
“We just hope we can play them again.”
KES is now focused on the semi-final with the Horton Griffins on May 22. The regional final will be held on May 24, and provincials are slated for June 1-2.
“Honestly, if the two of us don’t meet in the finals at provincials, I would be very shocked. From what I’ve seen, the two best teams are right here. It would be fitting for that to happen again,” said Bryan.
King’s-Edgehill School’s senior boys’ team also took on Avon View on May 17 and won 40-10.
In between the boys and girls matches, a moment of silence was held in the middle of the pitch to honour the life of Brodie McCarthy, a Grade 12 student from Prince Edward Island, who died earlier in the month following a head injury sustained at a rugby tournament.