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Clippers falter in final, look to rebound at provincials

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Rod Carberry is not sure exactly what went wrong when the DRCSS Clippers girls rugby team took to the pitch for the Westman High School Rugby League final versus the Minnedosa Chancellors, May 25, but something did.
And it resulted in the Clippers dropping a 27-7 decision on their home pitch.
“We didn’t stick to our plans, that is really ultimately what happened. But why we didn’t stick to our plan, I am not sure,” the Clippers coach said.
“I don’t know if it was nerves or not. We are about a half and half veterans versus brand new players. And some of those new players might not have ever been in a competitive game, nevermind a championship competitive game. So I think it was nerves. A lot of girls were disappointed in their effort.”
Carberry said his side started off with some sloppy play, highlighted by missed tackles, errant passes and too many penalties. The girls were able to improve things at half time.
“We only allowed one try against us in the second half and managed to get one. So we cleaned it up a little bit. But it was kind of one of those too little, too late situations,” Carberry said, adding he expected going in that the championship would go to the team that wanted it more.
“Minnedosa came very prepared for us. They obviously identified our strengths and prepared for that.”
The loss in the championship game does not damper what Carberry considers to be a very successful season with the Clippers growing both as a team and as individuals.
From where the team started, being short of numbers, to finishing first in the league and having a shot in the championship game is all a coach could ask for, Carberry said.
“We have come a long way from the start,” he said.
“In our group chat there is a lot of positive comments, which is really good to see. They are tired, it has been a lot of rugby, but their heads are held high.”
In fact, the players are looking foward to getting another shot at the Chancellors at the Manitoba High School Athletics Association provincial tournament at Maple Grove Rugby Park this coming weekend.
And Carberry thinks his team has a good shot to come out on top.
“Year after year they are second place in the province and I would almost argue they are a first place team this year. They have an opportunity to prove it again,” he said.
“So these girls have to keep their chins up and have some confidence.”
In terms of what Carberry expects from his team at provincials overall, he is keeping it simple.
“I am just looking for us to stick to the plan. I am not going to expect a win, I am not going to expect anything other than do what we say we are going to do out on the field. And the result is going to be the result,” he said.
“And as a coach, we will have done what we set out to do and I can’t expect much more than that. I am already happy with them as a coach. They are a great group of girls. It’s probably the best crew of girls, team that I have ever coached . And it is just going to be what it is going to be at the final end. And I am going to be happy no matter what.”