2010 Canada West women's rugby championship preview
Photo credit Lethbridge Athletics
LETHBRIDGE, AB – It has returned to where it all had
started for the CIS top-ranked and defending champion Pronghorn
women’s rugby team.
After domination by the Alberta Pandas for the first seven years of Canada West Rugby, the Lethbridge Pronghorns won their first conference in 2006 at home in Lethbridge.
Regular Season Statistics
Fast forward to 2010, hosting the conference championships for the first time since 2006, the Pronghorns will attempt to make it five conference titles in a row.
For the second consecutive year, the Pronghorns (4-0 CW) went through the conference schedule with an unblemished record, outscoring their opponents 199-36 but it did not come without some adversity. The Alberta Pandas (3-1 CW) pushed the Horns to the brink during the final weekend of conference action, holding an 8-5 lead at the half, before the Horns scored 26 second half points for a come from behind 31-18 victory.
The second-place Pandas were equally impressive during the conference schedule and have their sights set on a return to the top of the Canada West Mountain. In their three conference victories, the Pandas put up 144 points while only surrendering 6 points.
In a battle of B.C. schools during the last weekend of the conference schedule, the Victoria Vikes (2-2 CW) overcame an early deficit with three consecutive second-half scores, shutting out UBC until the final minutes to earn a 27-20 victory and the third seed in the conference. The 2-2 record for the Vikes is its best since Canada West competition began in 1999.
After a fifth place finish, as hosts, at last year’s CIS Championships, the UBC Thunderbirds (1-3 CW) will be disappointed with the fourth place finish in Canada West this season. On a positive note, earlier this season the T-Birds were in the game early with the Pronghorns scoring a converted try to make it 14-7 but the depth and talent of the 'Horns proved too much over 80 minutes in a 48-7 loss.
The Canada West championship begins Friday. One semifinal will be Lethbridge facing the UBC Thunderbirds at 11 a.m. MT, while at 1:00 p.m. Alberta faces the Victoria Vikes. The Pandas downed the Vikes in Victoria 30-3 earlier this season
The semifinal winners will face off for the 12th Canada West
crown at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday. The bronze medal game will precede to
the final, at 11:00 a.m. All games will be played at the University
Community Stadium. Tournament passes are $10 and are on sale at the
Sport & Recreation Customer Service Desk or at the Stadium,
starting half an hour prior to the kick-off of the first game.