February 20, 2013, White Rock, BC (ISN) – The 2013 Adidas Women’s Premiership kicks off on Saturday and three months after lifting a Tier One Lower Mainland regional championship.
A young Bayside Sharks roster will look to march on towards their first ever Gordon Harris Memorial Cup.
Adidas Women’s Premiership Schedule – Sat. February 23rd:
United Rugby Club at Bayside AA (South Surrey Athletic Park) 11:30am
Velox Valkyries at Burnaby Lake (Burnaby Lake Sports Complex) 11:30am
SFU at Capilano RFC (Klahanie Park) 11:30am
Bayside knocked off defending champions Burnaby Lake in the 2012 Lower Mainland title match in November, downing their rivals 22-10 with tries from Ashley Lees, Laura Foreman, Tanya Leigh and 17-year-old Jade Elidoros. The victory capped off an impressive season for the Sharks who led the league’s scoring charts with Jodie Cornell (62 pts), Leigh (55 pts) and Alex Mueller (48 pts) contributing to a 43 points per game offensive average.
During the winter break in league play, a number of Bayside’s standouts were apart of the Fraser Valley side who lifted the Ruth Hellerud-Brown Cup, defeating Vancouver Island and Vancouver in regional competition. Laura Foreman and Robyn Chrosciewicz excelled in the second row with Leigh providing pace in the centres.
“Our forwards are led by a few returning vets including Robyn and Laura,” said Bayside head coach Kyle Ferguson. “Our back line is a very solid group with a good mix of some younger girls stepping in to fill roles. Obviously the top three scorers from the fall are very dangerous players. Alex brings a lot of pace and nose for the corner and Tanya is a hard runner and other teams sure don’t like having her run right at them.”
The Sharks will be without Cornell in their opener due to an injury picked up in Fraser Valley’s clash with Vancouver Island.
Bayside went 5-4 during the 2012 Premiership season and lost to eventual champs Velox Valkyries in the semifinals. But if the Fall 2012 season is any indication of things to come – Bayside went 6-0 – then the Sharks could be serious title contenders.
“We didn’t win the first half by having any one person come before the team,” added Ferguson. “Everyone bought into what we are trying to do at Bayside and it showed with our record and the way we played the game.”
Ferguson and Bayside will be up against United Rugby Club in their season opener, a team led by Fraser Valley’s head coach Steph Murphy.
“These two teams always play a tight game and I would expect nothing less,” added Ferguson. “They have some great players in their forwards who make it tough to get good, clean and fast ball out and that is what we are trying to do. It should be a great way to start the year and a lot of these girls just played with each other (on Fraser Valley) and are really looking forward to the game.”
The opening round will also see a rematch of last year’s provincial final with the Velox Valkyries away to Burnaby Lake for an 11:30am kickoff. SFU will travel to Klahanie Park for a clash with Capilano RFC.