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Clipper girls dominate on the pitch

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So far, so good.
The Dauphin Clippers girls rugby 7s team is undefeated after the first jamboree in Souris, Sunday.
The Clippers beat Vincent Massey no. 2, 27-0, then beat Vincent Massey no. 1, 25-10. After beating the host Souris Sabres, 22-0, Dauphin ended the day with a 20-5 win over Crocus Plains.
“It was amazing. The girls played so well together. We’ve got half rookies and half veteran players for the most part and you wouldn’t know that half of the team was brand new and had never played a game before. It was amazing to watch them. They just came together as a group,” said Clippers coach Mandy Carberry.
The veterans are a huge influence on the younger players, even in practice, Carberry said, helping to mentor some of the new team members.
“Which is good for us as coaches, too, because then we can help pinpoint some areas that we want to see other kids excel in, so we’re not so focused on the entire team,” she said, adding two players have their younger siblings on the team, as well.
“It’s a great succession plan for the younger kids and the older kids,” Carberry said.
The Clippers dominated in every aspect of the game, Carberry said. Both the offence and defence was fantastic, she added. There were a lot of aspects of the game in previous seasons the Clippers wanted to pinpoint this year.
“And we’ve been working very hard on it. So it’s nice that we’ve got a healthy mix of veteran players and new players, so we can help them with those points and teach those new kids exactly how to play,” she said.
Rugby Sunday takes place, this weekend, with the Clippers hosting a jamboree in conjunction with the Parkland Pirates youth rugby program.
Rugby Sunday will feature the Clippers hosting five other rugby teams, starting at 8 a.m., while the Pirates will have games at four age levels, starting at noon.
“It’s going to be an entire day of rugby. So that’s why we’re calling it Rugby Sunday. It’s going to be fantastic to have the little kids and the high school kids all come together,” Carberry said.
Rugby Sunday will take place at Kin Field, the new rugby pitch at the Vermillion Park Sportsplex. The Kinsmen and Kinette Clubs of Dauphin provided funding for the uprights, which were recently built, installed and painted.
Carberry said Dauphin Recreation Services is moving bleachers to the new field and a canteen will be on site.
Having the high school jamboree on the same day as the youth program’s event will, hopefully, provide some inspiration to the younger players.
“We’ve been talking to the younger kids about the high school kids playing and they’re so excited to see them play. Because they’ll see the next level. They’ll see themselves in up-and-coming players,” Carberry said, adding two girls from the Pirates’ U13 program joining the U15 regional program.
“So we’re already starting to pluck up-and-comers for our regional programs. And that’s part of the rugby succession. We’re starting them now at a young age and helping them develop skills to get to the high school level, which we’re already starting to see.”
And, of course, rugby does not end at the high school level, as players can play at the college level, as well as provincial and national teams.
Dauphin’s Kaila Stratuliak has been invited to tryout for Rugby Canada’s U18 Team Canada West and Brayden Tomchuk recently attended a tryout camp for Team Canada West’s U18 squad.
For Carberry, the Souris jamboree was her first experience as a coach and she said there was a lot of pressure.
“Wanting to make sure everybody got some field time. Putting them in the right spots to set them up to succeed, not to fail. But it was great that we won,” she said.

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Doug Zywina
REPORTER
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