Special thanks to Colin Watson (https://www.facebook.com/colinwatsonphotography/) for the great action shots
The only thing hotter than the weather lately has been the outstanding play of the Markham Irish senior women’s rugby team, who improved to a perfect 8-0 record this season with an impressive 45-5 demolition of the Oakville Crusaders this past weekend.
In putting together their finest performance of the season, the women in green relied on an aggressive team defense, along with dominance in the scrums and lineouts, to put their opponents under continual pressure. With multiple “game breakers” in both the forwards and the backs, it didn’t take long for space to open up as flanker Kimmee Meigs broke a tackle and scampered in from 40 yards out to open the scoring. Co-captain and #8 Misha Maric continued her fine run of form with the boot to add the conversion, as the Irish women settled in to make the lovely afternoon a miserable one for the Crusaders. Soon after, scrum half Ann Capra went over from short range after a long series of phase play with Maric just missing the sideline conversion. Speedsters Cheyenne DeLuca and Kareece McGregor both scored from long range after great off-loads, sandwiching a great try from in close by Misha Maric, who robotically converted all three scores. A brief series of attacking runs by the Oakville team just before halftime came to nothing as the Markham Irish defenders rallied near the goal line and turned the ball over, kicking safely to touch.
The Crusaders managed to score a consolation try after a brief spate of Irish penalties midway through the second half brought them to their goal line, but not before encountering some immense Irish defense and having the ball up held up in the end zone twice. Bouncing back almost immediately, the final 20 minutes saw more scoring from fullback Cheyenne DeLuca, who outpaced her opposite number to twice touch down in the end zone for her 8th and 9th tries of the season, with fly half and co-captain Lauren Cranfield taking over the kicking duties, adding one convert at the final whistle.
Such was the display of tough, dominant rugby on the day, a non-scoring player, second rower Rebecca Gibbons, was selected by the Cru as “player of the match” for her battering runs and thunderous tackling. All 16 players who took to the field for the Irish played incredibly well, with the 45-5 result indicative of an entire team effort. The quality and pace displayed at every position is a lethal combination for our opponents to face, having scored 349 points to date with only 73 against, as we look to compete in the Intermediate Cup playoffs and return to the OWL next season.