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Valley Rugby Union’s women’s teams undefeated heading into final games this season


‘A lot of really great, skilled, talented athletes’

WINDSOR, N.S. —

Valley women are proving they are a force to be reckoned with on the pitch this season.

Both the Division 1 and Division 2 Valley Rugby Union (VRU) teams are undefeated heading into their final regular season games this month and are poised to make playoffs.

Ashley Brooker, who is president of the Valley Bulldogs, serves on the recently formed Valley Rugby Union board, is director of women's rugby for the province and is a player on the VRU’s Division 1 team.

Monique Coffey didn’t shy away from tackling anybody while on the pitch. - Carole Morris-Underhill photos
Monique Coffey didn’t shy away from tackling anybody while on the pitch. - Carole Morris-Underhill photos

“We're having a really great season so far. Both of our teams, our division one team and our division two team, are undefeated so far this season,” Brooker said in a phone interview.

Brooker says she couldn’t be more proud of how the women have gelled this season.

“I really think the way that we're all able to come together and execute as a union on the field has definitely been a highlight,” said Brooker.

“We have a lot of really great, skilled, talented athletes that have represented the province with the Keltics, some that are actually playing with the U 20 Canada team, but also girls who have played in youth sport, or CIS,” said Brooker.

She said even though many of these women have played each other in some capacity beforehand, they’re able to come together to put on a united front. She says it’s been really encouraging to see and bodes well for the future.

Brooker says the merger of the Valley Bulldogs and the Hants County RFC Windsor Machine this season has been beneficial to all involved with the sport.

“I think we're really blazing the path and paving the way to have more development of our sport in our region, which then makes sport in our province better as well,” said Brooker. “One of the really key things that I want to highlight is that this year, we put an extra emphasis on the collaboration piece and it's shown to be successful both on the field and with the relationships formed off the field.”

DIVISION 1 LEADING THE PACK

The Valley Rugby Union’s Division 1 team has played six games to date, winning all bouts, with a seventh game unable to be played by the opposing team. They are currently ranked No. 1 in the tier A division with 35 points, with the Halifax Tars in second place, with a 3-4 record worth 19 points.

The VRU have posted convincing wins over some of the best women’s teams in Nova Scotia and PEI.

The VRU started the season off with a 53-12 win over Enfield June 15, followed by a closer match, 46-36, against the Halifax RFC on June 22. On June 29, they defeated Charlottetown 32-14 – a game that Brooker is quite proud about.

No mercy was shown during the hot and humid July battle between the Valley Rugby Union and PEI. Pictured for the Valley squad is Briana Hennigar.
No mercy was shown during the hot and humid July battle between the Valley Rugby Union and PEI. Pictured for the Valley squad is Briana Hennigar.

“We did defeat the (Division 1) Charlottetown rugby club and that was their first loss that they've had since being in the league,” said Brooker.

On July 6, the VRU nipped the Halifax Tars 32-29 before boasting a 60-24 victory over Enfield on July 16. On July 23, a try made the difference when they defeated Halifax RFC 37-33.

The Division 1 team will host the Halifax Tars Aug. 10 at 10 a.m. in Port Williams for their final regular season game.

DIVISION 2 NIPPING AT HEELS OF FIRST PLACE TARS

The Valley Rugby Union’s Division 2 women’s team is tied for second place and just one point shy of first place in the league.

“I'm proud and thrilled with how well they've been doing especially because they are mainly our younger players,” said Brooker.

They started off strong on June 22, defeating the Truro Saints 63-30 and the Dartmouth PigDogs 81-10 on July 13. When Charlottetown’s second rugby team came to Windsor July 20, they played in stifling hot heat and defeated Charlottetown 36-15.

The Halifax Tars, who have played four games this year, are in first place with 16 points. Pictou County and the VRU both have 15 points and have only played three games to date.

Heading into their Aug. 10 game in Port Williams, the VRU will face off against the Halifax Tars at 2 p.m. They will then face Pictou County on Aug. 27 to wrap up the regular season.

Brooker says she hopes there will be a good turnout to watch the two women’s games, as well as the two VRU men’s games Aug. 10.

“I really think people should come on out to watch the games to see, number one, the rugby community of how strong and supportive it is,” said Brooker. “There's a lot of really great rugby that's happening in the Valley and I think that's something to be celebrated. And we encourage any fans, supporters, former players, or whoever might be interested in the game to come on out and to watch a couple games when it is in Port Williams.”

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