Trinity Western’s women’s rugby 7s team finished sixth overall in their first-ever tournament on the Canada West Rugby 7s Series on Sunday, Jan. 19 (TWU photo)

Langley-based Spartans finish sixth in Canada West Rugby 7s series

‘We improved and learned a lot’ coach says

Trinity Western’s women’s rugby 7s team finished sixth overall in their first-ever tournament on the Canada West Rugby 7s Series.

On day two of the eight-team tournament in Edmonton on Sunday, Jan. 19, the Spartans beat Fraser Valley 28-19 in the consolation semifinal to earn the first women’s 7s victory in school history. In the 5th-place match, the Spartans lost to Calgary 38-5.

Playing the Cascades in the consolation semifinal, the Spartans and UFV trading tries through the first half and early on in the second half. Sammi Thiessen scored twice in the first half before Michelle Veerman Quezada tallied in the second half, with both using outside speed to find space. With Tausani Levale converting each of TWU’s first three tries, the Spartans went ahead midway through the second half, 21-19, with UFV having missed the conversion on their third try. Levale then scored herself, taking the ball from a penalty and using some fancy footwork to get past UFV’s defence, before diving across to put the game out of reach.

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Against the Dinos, the game ended with almost an identical score line as their matchup on Day 1 (36-7). Calgary was able to take advantage their speed on the edges to secure athe win, scoring six tries to TWU’s one. Nicolett Duchesne scored TWU’s lone try of the match.

TWU finished the tournament scoring six tries, with Thiessen and Veerman Quezada each scoring twice and Levale and Duchesne finding the try area once apiece.

TWU Head Coach Julia Sugawara said the team showed “fantastic effort and incredible heart right to the final whistle.”

“We improved and learned a lot over the course of this weekend’s tournament,” Sugawara said.

The team showed While we are happy with our performance in certain instances, we know there is more we can accomplish this season. We will be focusing on those areas over the next two weeks and we will be ready to put or efforts to the test again at the UBC stop.”

Sammi Thiessen said it “felt good to win a game today and have the opportunity to score twice.”

Nicolett Duchesne called it “a tough weekend overall, but we came together and supported one another right to the end.”

The Rugby 7s season will continue in two weeks, with the UBC Thunderbirds hosting the second tournament in Vancouver.

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