One tough out
UPEI hosts juggernaut St. FX in Atlantic university women’s rugby action
The challenge is real for the UPEI Panthers women’s rugby team when it hosts the St. FX X-Women in Atlantic University Sport women’s rugby action Saturday in Charlottetown.
St. FX (1-0) is the defending national champ (won its fifth overall last season), has won 14 of the last 15 AUS titles and went undefeated last year including sweeping UPEI with a combined score of 92-10 in two meetings. It might be a David versus Goliath matchup for UPEI’s home opener, but Panthers head coach John LaBoyne will still load the sling.
“We prepare the same for every team. Dealing with their size, speed and strength is a challenge,” said LaBoyne. “Their coaching is a key factor, as well as their ability to attract the top players from all across Canada. We will need to be at our very best to play them.”
UPEI (0-1) is coming off a season-opening 58-12 loss to Acadia last weekend, while St. FX demolished Saint Mary’s 105-0 in its home opener a week ago. LaBoyne said his squad is a little beat up after the Acadia game, but will be set to go on Saturday.
“We are down a few of (our) first 15 players after the Acadia game. However our new players have really stepped up their play this week in practice and will play with enthusiasm against the national champions,” said LaBoyne.
“It was not all doom and gloom after the Acadia loss. We worked very hard on a number of aspects of our game and the players responded well. We are set up to perform better in those areas.”