Sports

Championship on the line for Hornets women

The Nanaimo Hornets women have a chance to go from zero to championship in two seasons.

The Div. 2 team will try for a B.C. Rugby Union provincial title this Saturday (May 14) as they prepare to face Burnaby at a neutral site in North Vancouver.

“It’s the culmination of all the work we’ve done the last couple years, the fact that we’ve come back from having no team at all,” said Nancy Ellsmere, veteran player. “Whatever happens, just being here is a team win.”

The Hornets made it to the B.C. final last year, too, and finished as runners-up. This spring, they’ve put together an undefeated season, blowing out a lot of teams along the way.

“We’re taking advantage when we’re close to the line, where a lot of times last year we’d sort of panic before we got there,” Ellsmere said.

The defence has been impressive too, she said, as players have gotten better at covering for each other and getting opposing teams out of their comfort zone.

So now that the Hornets have another chance at a championship, they’re in position to take advantage.

“We’re a lot more confident as a team,” Ellsmere said. “A lot of the girls have a second and third [season] under their belts, a little more experience. [We're] able to adapt to make sure our strengths come out."

RUGBY SHORTS … Saturday's game goes at noon at Klahanie Park … The next step for Hornets women's rugby might be a move to the premiership. "If we win, we'll be forced to. But I think we're ready," Ellsmere said … The club wants to continue to grow the women's game, and the sport in general, so it is always looking for more players. "We need to keep pulling in players from the college, surrounding areas, and we need to get the school program back healthy," Ellsmere said. For information about playing women's rugby, call 250-797-2055 or the clubhouse at 250-390-2121.

sports@nanaimobulletin.com

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