Stettler’s Wildcats rugby team pose for a group shot after their win against Lacombe.

Stettler Wildcats overpower Lacombe in season opener

The Wildcats walked away with a decisive 52-0 victory after a great season opener.

The Stettler Wildcats rugby team played a great season opener against Lacombe, defeating them 52-0 on Thursday, May 4 in an away game.

With 10 tries and one kick conversion, the Wildcats were able to easily overcome the Lacombe team, which had won third place last year and had beaten Stettler twice by convincing margins.

“It was a pretty exciting game for us as it was a good bench mark for us to see how far we’ve come as a program,” said Head Coach Josh Elliott. “Lacombe has had a very positive girls’ team with a couple of key players graduating this year. But we had mostly all of ours returning, and had additional new players, so a 52-0 win was very telling of all the hard work our girls are doing.”

Lacombe had won their season opener the week before against Olds pretty easily, so according to Elliott, it would be interesting to watch their next game, which is against Olds.

“The girls are already talking about making ‘Pack the Barn’ posters as we hope to get a big crowd out and further expose rugby to Stettler,” said Elliott. “It’s very cool seeing so many athletic girls on the field at the same time, and we really owe all the other athletic groups in Stettler a thank you as we are getting girls who have played or are currently still playing from baseball, hockey, rodeo, football, soccer, basketball to volleyball and lacrosse!”

Elliott said that a huge advantage has been the fact that the girls know how to train and add positively to a team environment before they join the team.

“It’s reflected in our game against Lacombe, where we barely had time to work on our team strategy, but the girls are really adopting the idea of being rugby players and making a conscious group effort to put their best foot forward,” Elliott added. “They are working so hard at something so new to them that its inspiring to watch, and I hope the community is able to come out and see how strong these girls are on Wednesday, when they take on Lacombe.”

Elliott stated that some of the stand-out players were Emily Brown scoring three tries and many huge runs, who was named “co-player of the game” along with Rachael Deaver who stepped up and switched from playing in the backs to the forwards; Sadie Diegel and Kallie Stewart both had two tries in the centre; and Tianna Kirtley, Alyssa Henderson, and Tori Brower all had one try.

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