Lady Bruins lick wounds after tough home opener loss


After coming off a record-breaking win against Mohawk College, the Sheridan women’s rugby team dropped their home opener against Conestoga College on Friday.

The Lady Bruins started off strong, scoring the first try of the game. But injuries caused their game plan to fall apart.

“The injuries started and I had to look to my bench. I had players playing out of position,” said head coach Tamara Dixon. “It wasn’t something we were prepared for and it didn’t work for us.”

It was disappointing for the Bruins, who were coming off a 40-5 win over Mohawk College last week in their season opener.

Against the Condors, the Bruins were able to keep the score close through the first half and they were only down by two points. However, as more injuries ensued in the second half, the team started falling apart.

“The biggest difference between the halves were our attitudes,” said second-year player Taylor Quigley. “We started out really strong and then injuries happened. We got thrown into spots we weren’t used to. Conestoga got a few breaks that really hit our morale.”

Member of the Sheridan Bruins women's rugby team charging into Condor territory

Member of the Sheridan Bruins women’s rugby team charging into Condor territory

As more Bruins were carried off the field, Conestoga was able to break through the Sheridan line and score try after try, en route to a 31-5 win.

“If the girls look back and watch the video they’d see we were delayed. We were delayed on offence. When the other team was making mistakes, we needed to be up flat line,” said Dixon.

Halfway through the game a third of the Bruin’s 15 starting players were out.

“The thing with rugby is that after a game everybody feels hurt,” said Dixon. “The key thing is if they’re just hurt or if they’re injured – that’s the deciding factor in whether or not they can play in the next game.”

However, considering the Bruins history of losing to the Condors, the first half of the game showed great improvement in the strength of this year’s team.

“This year is the strongest in the four years Sheridan has had women’s rugby,” said co-captain Natalie Nelawhi. “As a fourth-year player, I’ve been on the team since Sheridan had women’s rugby. Watching this team grow to what it is now makes me excited for the future.”




For the Lady Bruins to make the playoffs this year they have to beat Seneca College on Thursday.

“Our goal for this game is to focus on the process, not the result,” said Nelawhi. “Giving 100 per cent focus on technique, communication and skills will tremendously help us in getting the result that we want.”

The outcome of the Seneca game depends a lot on the team’s focus, but also on the health of the starting lineup.

Without healthy starters, the chances of the Lady Bruins clinching a playoff spot drop dramatically.

“I was expecting to make playoffs this year,” said Dixon. “But the injuries, depending on how many there are, will decide if we do or not.”