by Andrew Smith
February 19, 2014, VANCOUVER, BC – Heading into week two of the Adidas Women’s Premiership, North Shore club Capilano RFC (1-0) has already matched its win total of the 2013 season where the squad posted a 1-5 record.
Capilano’s program is in the midst of a rebuild and with a number of Canada-capped veterans and university additions for the Spring season, the club will look to take down the Velox Valkyries (1-0) at Klahanie Park on Saturday.
Women’s Adidas Premiership – Sat. February 22nd:
- Velox Valkyries at Capilano RFC (Klahanie Park) 11:30am
- SFU at Abbotsford RFC (CFV Exhibition Park) 11:30am
- Burnaby Lake at Emerald City Mudhens (Magnuson Park) 11:30am
- United Rugby Club at Bayside AA (South Surrey Athl Park) 11:30am
Capilano opened the season with a 36-17 bonus point win on February 15th, defeating 2013 semifinalists United Rugby Club. The hosts ran in six tries on the day with a brace from Canada-capped prop Hilary Leith and another coming from Saracens product Poppy Cleall.
“The first win of the season was a gritty game and the score doesn’t really reflect how close it was,” said Capilano Head Coach Darcy Patterson. “United is a strong team and when they have all their players together they are one of the hardest teams to play against.”
Capilano have welcomed a number of new additions and key returnees to their lineup including UBC’s Gabby Hindley, Shawnee Monchalin, Louisa Hadley, Gillian Boag and Cassidy Gale. Capilano product and UVic grad Melissa Robinson has also returned to the forward pack.
Two to watch this season are Leith and Cleall who have joined Capilano via top flight English side Saracens. A Capilano product, Leith spent two seasons in England and has now been capped at the senior women’s national level. Canada standout and 2011 BC player of the year Andrea Burk will also make her presence felt in the back line this season.
The North Shore outfit will look to carry their momentum into round two of the Adidas Premiership on Saturday when they welcome perennial finalists Velox to Klahanie Park. The Valkyries have reloaded with plenty of fire power including Canada-capped Julianne Zussman, Marlene Donaldson and Barbara Mervin. Key players Selina McGinnis and Brittany Sims have also been instrumental in Velox’s recent success, powering the squad to three straight Gordon Harris Memorial Cup appearances.
“Velox has been a good team for a few years now and I expect them to be even better this season,” Patterson added. “We will really have to make all our tackles and not let them break our defensive line. Offensively, if we retain ball possession and support our powerful forwards and dynamic backs, we will be hard to stop. If both teams show up to play it will be a very exciting game of rugby.”
Kickoff at Klahanie Park is currently scheduled for 11:30am. The venue will also play host to men’s Premier League and First Division contests with Capilano set to clash with the UVic Vikes. Kickoffs for the men’s divisions are set for 1:00pm and 2:45pm.
Around the League
Reigning Gordon Harris Memorial Cup champions Burnaby Lake (1-0) will travel south to Seattle this weekend for a clash with Premiership newcomers Emerald City Mudhens (1-0). The Mudhens were impressive during the Fall season, defeating SFU in the Anna Schnell Cup Final to take the Women’s Lower Mainland regional championship. United will look to bounce back from an opening week defeat when they face South Surrey’s Bayside Sharks who will be playing their first game of the 2014 season. League newcomers Abbotsford RFC (0-1) will play host to SFU (0-1) at CFV Exhibition Park.