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Clippers boys lose close game, girls earn split

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The Dauphin Clippers rugby teams lost their home openers in the short Westman High School Rugby season, Apr. 29.
The girls lost 42-39 to the Souris Sabres, followed by the Dauphin boys dropping a 24-22 decision to Souris.
The Clippers girls led 22-17 at halftime, but Souris broke the game open with five straight tries. With a convert, the Sabres scored 27 straight points.
The Clippers fought back and made it close, but ultimately fell short.
Kaila Stratuliak and Toni Koshowski had three tries each and Carly Ryz had a single. Stratuliak added a pair of converts to round out the scoring for Dauphin.
Scoring for the Clippers boys were Charles Hazel, Zach Zurba, Adam Evans and Dominique Dudar. Zurba also had a convert.
Clippers coach Rod Carberry was pleased with the Clippers’ play, noting Souris came prepared to play.
“It was definitely a grind. We had our opportunities where we could have done a little bit better. But, if you’re going to lose, I’m happy it’s a close one,” he said.
Carberry is trying to get the boys to play within some structure, but they haven’t quite gotten the hang of it yet.
“We had some good runs out wide. They’re starting to grab on to the new system that we want them to run. The girls have got it. They’ve embraced it and they’re using it and it’s working for them. The boys need to just bring it all a little bit together and play more as a unit,” he said.
Souris was able to take the lead in the second half after breaking through the Dauphin defence for some long runs, resulting in several tries.
Tackling is always a challenge, Carberry said, noting it is the reason why some people do not want to play.
“And it’s one thing to practice tackling, but it’s another thing to tackle a moving target. Yeah, we missed some tackles. And when you’re playing with 12 girls and Souris has got girls like Mikayla Frattinger and Caitlin Bossert, they’ve played for me in the past and they’re super fast. They just ran it out wide on us,” he said.
The girls rebounded to beat the Minnedosa Chancellors, 32-31, Friday in Dauphin.
Koshowski and Brie Toews had two tries each, while Trista Genik and Sophie Delaurier each added a single and Maddy Slyziuk chipped in with a convert.
Minnedosa entered the game having scored 253 points in three wins to start the season.
The Clippers girls have been struggling with numbers and the game against Minnedosa was their first with a full lineup.
“We had a couple of girls that stepped up late. Brittany Ortiz. And Trista Genik came back, which is huge for us. It was so disappointing to hear that we were losing her this year,” Carberry said.
“I don’t know what they bribed her with or what they had to do to get her to step back on the field again, but we sure are happy to see her come back.”
Genik ended up earning the Player of the Game, thanks to a try-saving tackle late in the second half to preserve the victory.
Playing with a full lineup allowed the girls to stick to the game plan, which proved to be successful in beating Minnedosa.
“We were pretty sure that Minnedosa was going to run it wide on us. They have two twins on their team, Brooklyn and Brianne Zemliak. I took those two girls to Vancouver last year and they’re good, strong, fast runners who score points. So we adjusted our system to make sure, defensively, we had them covered,” Carberry said.
Another Minnedosa player, Jordan McLeod, recently signed with the University of British Columbia and has a bright future and the Clippers had a plan to keep her covered, as well.
“We just made sure that when we were on defence, we had extra numbers out wide. We had extra numbers hanging back in case somebody broke the line. We just prepared for them and the girls did their job.” Carberry said.
Because of the way the league standings are set up, points for and against play a factor in breaking ties. That forces teams to run up the score on weaker opponents, something Carberry does not like to do.
“But if we want to secure first place and we want to be hosting some semifinals and finals, we have no choice. So I’m struggling with what it is that we should be doing. Do we just go all out and just absolutely let them have it and try to win the points race? Or do we stick to our morals and finish second and try to catch them in the finals?” he said.
On Thursday, both teams head south to Brandon to face the Crocus Plains Plainsmen.

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Doug Zywina
REPORTER
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