Over this past weekend, Trent University played host to a much-anticipated Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) Women’s Rugby Championships on the Justin Chiu Stadium field. This was Trent’s second consecutive year hosting the women’s championship, and inevitably there was much pressure on Team Excalibur to prove its mettle on home ground.  Team Excalibur went into the Championships with an upbeat and optimistic mood about their chances of success. Some players had been in that position before and that experience was expected to make them more comfortable in the championship setting. The first match of the tournament pitted the home team against defending champions the X-Women from St. Francis Xavier University. Less than five minutes into the game, the X-Women scored their first point. From that moment on, it became a question of how much they could score before the final whistle blew. Even with the late three points (courtesy of a penalty) garnered by Excalibur, it would still fall short had the X-Women failed to penetrate Trent’s defences thereafter. Of course, the opposing side did score more and by the end of the match, the X-Women walked away with a 76-3 win over Excalibur. Still, Trent’s players gave it their best try even though they were down by half-time as far as the scoreboard was concerned with Excalibur trailing behind 50-0. Despite being outmatched, they never gave up, and that’s all we can ask for.

Arguably still affected by the loss to St. Francis Xavier University, Excalibur was unable to recover from a hard blow to its confidence and suffered a shutout to the Pronghorns from the University of Lethbridge 35-0. As such, Trent University played for fifth place for the second time in a row. All is not lost, however. Craig Harris, assistant coach for the team indicated to Arthur Newspaper that the team consists of a total of fifteen rookies, so it is a relatively new team. Even so, this team was still able to create a new school record this year by scoring 112 points in five games. Therefore, there is definitely hope for future years. What’s more is that Captain, and OUA all-star, suffered from a hip injury and was unable to participate in the championships. Her presence may not have compensated for the relatively wide margins by which Excalibur lost but her talent was surely missed, and I’m sure team morale must have been affected by not having her on the field. All things said and done, Trent is in a pretty good position for next year. The rookies will no longer be rookies and now team coach, Nancy Marcotte, coach of the year in the Russell division, knows better now what works for her team. Trent has had what may be its best season so far in women’s rugby and I’m sure the team is eager to build on this year’s success, and is looking forward to bettering their placement next year.