The Madill Mustangs advance to OFSAA girls ' rugby with a 7-0 win in overtime
May 20, 2022
By Rob J. Ross
ST. THOMAS - No one actually scored in this game.
A penalty try was awarded to Wingham Madill, late in the second half of overtime, in the WOSSAA A/AA girls' rugby final, Thursday. at St. Joe's high school.
That was the only scoring in a 7-0 Madill win. The Mustangs advance to OFSAA, May 30 to June 1, in Cobourg.
On a penalty try, a full seven points is awarded, if the official believes the offended player would have scored. St. Joe's was called for a high tackle on a Madill player near the Rams' goal line.
"It was a really good game. At the end of the regular game, it was 0-0, so we had two five minute halves for overtime and with two minutes left they were awarded a penalty try that won them the game," Rams' captain Sophie Pellerine said. "It was very defensive. Both teams were so close multiple times, just couldn’t get there."
The Rams were aiming to return to OFSAA, having made their debut at the high school provincial championship, in 2019, the first year the school had a girls team.
"It's not how we wanted to end the season, but I am incredibly proud of the entire team," Pellerine said. "The improvement from just a few months ago is off the charts. Everyday at practice I saw the effort that the girls put in, but more than that I saw just how much everyone liked and wanted to be there. With over half of our team never even picking up a rugby ball before, it was amazing to see them all get better, make new friendships and gain so much confidence in themselves."
Pellerine, along with Leah Lowe, was instrumental in bringing girls rugby to St. Joe's three years ago. That first season the Rams, won WOSSAA, to advance to OFSAA, where they won one of three games. One loss was to the eventual silver medalist, Peterborough Holy Cross.
"It's incredible to think of all of the accomplishments we have already achieved," said Pellerine said. "For me personally, when I started this team in grade nine, I had no idea what it was going to become. These girls have exceeded my expectations and should be so proud of themselves. I am just to thankful to have been part of such a historic team and a great group of girls."
Pellerine graduates this year, heading to the the Royal Military College of Canada, for the political science undergrad program and a classification as an artillery officer.
Her basic training, begins in July.
"I am either going to try and be in the military long term and just move up the ranks, but I also really want to do something in international politics and having a military background leads for a good transition to that," Pellerine said.
Pellerine, who has been playing rugby since Grade seven, believes the future is bright for Rams' program.
"There is no doubt in my mind that the girls are going to be back here next year with another amazing season."