On a very soggy and wet Mother’s Day the #1 ranked Saint Joseph Academy Jaguar Rugby Team took on the #2 ranked Brunswick Girls. In what proved to be very tough conditions and against a very good team, the Jaguars learned a lot about themselves in a tale of two halves.
The game started out with the Jaguar Ruggers getting off to a slow start. Their brand of rugby revolves around getting the ball out wide, spreading their opponents out, and attacking space. With ankle deep mud, standing water, and not a dry spot to be found, adjustments were going to need to be made. Brunswick came out of the gate with a physical forward attack that kept the Jaguars on their heels for the entire first half. Missed tackles and handling errors plagued the girls early, keeping the momentum in Brunswick’s favor.
With a score of 17-5 at the half, the message was simple. “Increase the intensity, tighten things up,take care of their own ball, and let our conditioning take over.” Caitlin Patton ‘19 showed her senior leadership often reminding the team through both her play on the field, as well as her vocal support and reminders of the task at hand. Her relentless energy and physical play inspired the team. The message was received and the girls brought a new energy to the second half. After a handling error that Brunswick capitalized on the score was extended to 22-5. That is when the tides shifted. Controlling their own set pieces and rucks, and reducing ball handling errors resulted in scoring opportunities. Frankie Burns ‘19 and Erin Ward ‘19 both scored twice in the second half as the Jags got rolling. Erin Ward ‘19 scored 2 times off of an offensive scrum and Frankie Burns ‘19 touched down twice with powerful forward crashes, the second coming with no time on the clock to tie the game at 27.
This is yet another game experience that will carry the Jaguars into the postseason with confidence and energy. Next up is a bye week for the Varsity before starting postseason play and a JV match-up with Walnut Hills at St. Edward High School at 1:00 pm.
Maiden of the Match: Caitlin Patton ‘19