VANCOUVER - The Vancouver Rugby Union senior women's representatives will look to hold off Fraser Valley this Saturday in the final round of the 2013 Ruth Hellerud–Brown Cup. Vancouver currently sits third in the standings with just a single bonus point to their credit, but a win at Brockton Oval could launch them to the top of the table and claim this year's title.
The Vancouver reps struggled to get a full side out for their series opener on January 26th, falling 17-10 on the road to the Vancouver Island Crimson Tide. But with a few weeks of preparation now under their belts and some recent additions, head coach Walt Brandl says his squad will be ready for their weekend clash.
"After a bit of rushed prep for the Island game we have had a number of very productive sessions led by Canada national team players Marlene Donaldson, Corrine Jacobsen and Maria Gallo," said Brandl.
The team will also feature some younger players, including BC U18 provincial team grad Ciara Malone.
"We are looking forward to watching Ciara Malone from Meralomas use her speed at this level and to see if she can open up the field a little bit for us," added Brandl. "We also have some of the SFU girls like December Turcato-Woodward and Natasha Lalonde who are making a quick adjustment to the increased game pace that we see in rep rugby."
In their match against the Island, Carolyn McEwen and Turcato-Woodward each recorded tries and the leadership came from national team players Julia Sugawara and Kim Donaldson. In addition to the Burnaby Lake standouts, there is also BC U23 provincial team grad Demi Stamatakis providing some offensive flare.
"Demi has provided power and pace in attack and good aggression on defence. In addition, Carolyn McEwen has added some handling and running ability to her strong scrummaging repertoire," Brandl added.
The challenge ahead will be to hold off Fraser Valley's lethal ball carriers and mobile pack. In the Valley's 36-10 win over Vancouver Island two weeks ago, Alicia Guerin, Tanya Leigh and Emily Young recorded two tries a piece.
"I would think they will want to use their strong centres to shorten our defence and create some space for Emily and company on the outside," Brandl added.
Kick off for this Saturday's women's Ruth Hellerud-Brown Cup clash is set for 11:00am at Stanley Park's Brockton Oval.
Fraser Valley Senior Women
1 Kayla van Veld (Abbotsford); 2 Sonya Foulds (Abbotsford); 3 Meghan Chambers (Abbotsford); 4 Laura Foreman (Bayside); 5 Robyn Chrosciewicz (Bayside); 6 Jozefina Kola (United); 7 Crystal 'Pixie' Nikolai (United); 8 Kimberley Stockman (United); 9 Elyssa Phillipson (Abbotsford); 10 Shannon Craig (United); 11 Alicia Guerin (United); 12 Tanya Leigh (Bayside); 13 Emily Young (Kamloops); 14 Lisa O'Neill (United); 15 Rachel Craig (Bayside)
16 Cynthia Chang (United); 17 Nicole Lyons (United); 18 Elysia Saundry (United); 19 Shay Paterson (Abbotsford); 20 Yvone Lai (United); 21 Yuka Kubota (Abbotsford); 22 Tenaia Gatland (Bayside)
Coach Steph Murphy; Coach Kyle Ferguson; Manager Jen Ross
Vancouver Senior Women
1 Carolyn McEwen (Burnaby Lake/UBC); 2 Kim Donaldson (Burnaby Lake); 3 Demi Stamatakis (SFU); 4 Abby Goodwin (Burnaby Lake); 5 December Turcato-Woodward (SFU); 6 Jessica Firman (SFU); 7 Natasha Lalonde (SFU); 8 Katie Grudzinski (Burnaby Lake); 9 Christina Burnham (SFU); 10 Julia Sugawara (Burnaby Lake); 11 Ciara Malone (Meraloma); 12 Devon Luca (Burnaby Lake); 13 Kasia Laczny (SFU); 14 Megan Banford (SFU); 15 Genevieve Gratton (Burnaby Lake)
16 Iona Schamberger (Burnaby Lake); 17 Lauren Tagg (Burnaby Lake); 18 Francessa Whiffin (Capilano); 19 Rose Watts (Capilano); 20 Brianne McIntosh (Capilano); 21 Shelby Sloan (Meraloma)
Head Coach Walt Brandl; Assistant Coach Maria Gallo; Assistant Coach Corinne Jacobsen; Manager Erin Agostini
BC Rugby Cups Competitions - Sat. February 16th at Brockton Oval, Vancouver:
11:00am: Ruth Hellerud-Brown Cup (Sr Women) - Fraser Valley at Vancouver
1:00pm: Dunbar Keg (U20 Men) - Fraser Valley at Vancouver
3:00pm: McKechnie Cup (Sr Men) - Fraser Valley at Vancouver
RECENT RESULTS (Jan 26, 2013)
Ruth Hellerud-Brown Cup - Vancouver Island 17, Vancouver 10
Dunbar Keg - Vancouver Island 27, Vancouver 34
McKechnie Cup - Vancouver Island 33, Vancouver 13
RECENT RESULTS (Feb 2, 2013)
Ruth Hellerud-Brown Cup - Fraser Valley 36, Vancouver Island 10
Dunbar Keg - Vancouver Island 47, Fraser Valley 12
McKechnie Cup - Fraser Valley 25, Vancouver Island 7