NEW GLASGOW — A bigger challenge for the North Nova Gryphons in female high school rugby than preparing for the playoffs has been the level of competition.
The Gryphons welcomed stronger opposition at the annual Three Oaks high school rugby tournament last weekend in Summerside, P.E.I. before scheduled visits to the Northumberland Nighthawks on Tuesday in Alma and the Dr. J.H. Gillis Royals on Thursday in Antigonish to wrap up their regular season in the Northumberland Region.
“We need the competition and that’s the reason why we go to tournaments,” Gryphons head coach Dougal MacInnis said. “It can humble our players pretty quickly.”
The Gryphons all but clinched a bye to host the Northumberland Region Division 1 female rugby championship on May 24 in New Glasgow after two lopsided victories last week at home.
Victoria Straub scored four tries and added three converts at the Gryphons buried the Royals 71-10 last Thursday. That win came after the Gryphons’ 68-0 decision against the Cobequid Cougars on May 8.
“It’s easy to get caught up because you have to be ready for the more important games,” Straub said. “We want to keep the right mind set to play well.”
The Gryphons played two games last Friday and ended up losing both of them. They lost 10-0 to Avon View after meeting host Three Oaks and losing on kicks.
The teams were tied 22-22 in regulation play, with Straub collecting a try and a convert. Lauren MacLeod, Carley MacDonald and Liz Francis also scored tries.
“It was good, tough competition for us,” MacInnis said.
A scheduled game against the high school girls team from Montaque, P.E.I. was not played due to the death of a player on Montague’s male team.
The games in Alma for both the boys and girls from Northumberland and North Nova were deferred due to the incident. North Nova’s teams used Tuesday afternoon for a practice.
It has not been announced when the games at Northumberland will be played.
Rhea Young of the Gryphons is tackled by Royals players during their game on Thursday in New Glasgow. (Goodwin photo)