The Cairine Wilson varsity girls rugby team is finally going to the OFSAA provincial AA rugby championships.
A year after the derecho wind storm wiped out their chances at a city championship and a possible trip to OFSAA, the Cairine Wilson Wildcats made the most of their opportunity to finish where they had left off last year by downing the St. Pius X-Men
33-19 in the city championship last week and punch their ticket to the provincial AA championship.
|The Cairine Wilson varsity girls rugby team defeated St. Pius 33-19 on May 31 to win the National Capital secondary school senior girls 'AA' championship. FRED SHERWIN PHOTO
A year ago, the Wildcats were scheduled to play the Glebe Gryphons for the NCSSAA title when two days prior the derecho windstorm whipped through Navan and Sarsfield forcing the Ottawa District School Board to cancel the game.
The two teams had battled each other to a scoreless draw earlier in the season so the game was supposed to determine which team would represent the National Capital region at the provincial championships.
Since there was no time to play a make up game before the provincial championship Glebe, which is the larger of the two schools, was chosen to represent the National Capital Secondary School Athletic Association at the provincial AAA championship despite technically having fewer points in the standings – Glebe was 2-0-1, while Cairine Wilson was 3-0-1.
Ordinarily, the Wildcats would have automatically gone to the AA championship but a technical glitch prevented them from doing so, so this year’s campaign was all about making it to the big dance.
It is with that determination that Carine Wilson made short work of St. Pius.
The Wildcats dominated the first 15 minutes of the game, pinning St. Pius in their own end and scoring a pair of tries. The first came off a determined run by Nia Pascal. Aly Moore added a two-point convert to give Cairine an early 7-0 lead.
During the next four minutes, the Wildcats worked the ball down to the goal line twice, but were unable to get the ball into touch.
Finally, Akeysha Duprante was able to break several tackles and find a crack in the St. Pius defence to score an impressive try from about 30 metres out. Unfortunately, Moore’s convert attempt sailed wide, leaving Cairine Wilson with a 12-0 advantage.
St. Pius put together a sustained drive on their next possession to narrow the deficit to 12-5.
Cairine Wilson would extend their lead to 19-5 at the 10-minute mark of the second half thanks to Pascal’s second try of the game and another Duprante convert.
St. Pius would make a game of it thanks to back-to-back tries off a pair of long runs off penalties, both of which were easily converted and within a span of six minutes, the game was tied.
Fortunately, the Wildcats were able to regroup and take the lead for good on a try by Grace Breuer who had an excellent game. Another Duprante convert would make the score 26-19.
Pascale came close to scoring a third try several minutes later, but a stubborn St. Pius defence stood her up on the goal line forcing a change of possession.
As good as the St. Pius defence was in preventing Cairine from scoring another try they just couldn’t generate any sort of offence and Pascale eventually scored her third try on the final play of the game, capping off the 33-19 win and touching off a wild celebration.