After being rained out of their first game of the season, the Marauders women’s rugby team is still looking for their opportunity to show off the hard work they have been putting in over the summer.
In their first game against Trent University, they got to play for 21 minutes before the first strike of lightning hit.
The Marauders were up on Trent with a score of 24-3, scoring four tries in the first 20 minutes.
Although the OUA is still determining the final result of this game, the Marauders proved their dominant skill early on in the match.
Their success in their first showing of the season resulted from the hard work the Marauders put into training camp the week before, and the emphasis they have put on their fitness training throughout the winter.
“Our players from the end of last season to this year completely dedicated themselves through strength and conditioning, their prep coming into this season was phenomenal,” said Allen.
“We keep the historical fitness testing standards, and we had a bunch of records broken this year in camp, so the biggest improvement of the team is the bulk of the team has gotten a year older, a year stronger, and a year fitter, and they played some good rugby,” added Allen.
Over the summer, four players represented the senior women’s provincial team, four players represented the Canadian U-20 team, three players represented the Olympic Games U-18 national team, and Captain Cindy Nelles went to the World Cup as a replacement player.
Along with all of the hard work the other players have been putting in to their training, the Marauders have a very skilled and determined roster this year. It is also one of the biggest rosters in the OUA, made up of 37 players.
“Everyone that was invited to that training camp is still on our roster so we haven’t really made cuts at this point. There are some girls that are much more developmental. They won’t play in the OUA this year,” said Allen.
The final roster that Allen will be submitting to the OUA will have 34 athletes.
Allen himself is new to the team, having taken helm of the program in January 2014.
The rookies on the team are also making a swift transition into their first year, creating bonds with one another that were established during training camp.
“The camaraderie amongst our team is fantastic. Our upper year players have been very open to all of the first year players; it’s been very good over the last couple of weeks because we’ve been training so much and the girls have been around each other so much, so they’ve started to create those bonds,” said Allen.
The large contingent of first years has the Marauders excited for the future of the team, as the majority of them will not be competing, but rather working over the year to make the starting line-up in upcoming seasons.
With such a big roster, Allen has some decisions to make on who he will be bringing to each away game.
“We have quite a few first years this year, so when they improve their strength and conditioning they can come in next year or the year after,” said Allen.
For each game, the Marauders will be selecting 22 athletes, made up of 15 starters and seven subs.
The team will continue to train hard throughout the next week before they take on the No. 1 OUA ranked team, the Queen’s Gaels at the Back Ten Field this Sunday, Sept. 14.
The kick off will be at 1 p.m.