NEW WESTMINSTER (ISN) – United Rugby Club will look to take down the reigning provincial champions Burnaby Lake Rugby Club this Saturday when the two undefeated Lower Mainland teams go head-to-head in the Adidas Women’s Premiership.

Match Preview

United (3-0) are fresh off a bye weekend and are looking for a crucial victory against their rivals Burnaby Lake (4-0). Burnaby has recently taken the Lower Mainland derby spoils, following up their 2011 Harris Memorial Cup (provincial championship) with an undefeated run in the 2011 Lower Mainland Women’s Tier One competition.

“This is a big game for us and it comes at a crucial point of the season,” said United’s head coach Steph Murphy. “Games against Burnaby are always hard fought, both physically and mentally. They know us well and we know them and I think that contributes to the rivalry. Years and years of seeing the same faces across from you can really turn the heat up!”

United kicked off the 2012 season with three straight victories defeating Capilano RFC 51-0, Meraloma Rugby Club 24-14 and Bayside 17-0. Their offence has been lead by Canadace Barry who ranks third in overall league scoring with 32 points. Also at the forefront of United’s attack have been key players Mia Rushton, Paniz Pahlavanlu and Crystal ‘Pixie’ Nikolai.

“Mia brings both speed and dynamics to our back line and she is solid defensively at full back,” added Murphy. “Both Pixie and Paniz intensify our back row and the entire pack, leading us with their high work ethic and sense of energy.”

United will look to shut down Burnaby’s top scorer and Canadian national team player Julia Sugawara who ranks second in overall league scoring with 42 points.

“We will need to stay focused on our game plan as well as maintain an organized and solid defensive line,” said Murphy. “Our errors need to be minimal as Burnaby will capitalize on any mistakes we make. [We] will also need to capitalize on any of Burnaby’s errors in order to be the club that finally puts some points up against them on the scoreboard.”

Recording any points against Burnaby will be tough considering the reigning champs have not been scored on during the Spring 2012 season. United will also need to be on the ball defensively to contain Burnaby’s high-octane offence which has been averaging 45.7 points per game.

Kickoff at Hume Park between Burnaby and United is slated for 11:30am on Saturday.

Across town in Kitsilano, Adidas Premiership newcomers SFU (1-3) will travel to Meralomas (0-3) to scrum down at Connaught Park.

League Schedules:

Big Kahuna Division One – Sat. March 10th:

Kelowna RFC at Abbotsford (CFV Exhibition) 12:00pm

Langara Fishing Adventures Division Two – Sat. March 10th:

Ridge Meadows RFC at Meraloma Rugby Club (Connaught Park) 10:00am

Brit Lions RFC at Burnaby Lake (Hume Park) 10:00am