MSS girls headed to rugby provincials

By on May 18, 2017
Merritt’s Emma Ferch straight-arms a would-be Lillooet tackler en route to one of her three tries. (Photo courtesy of Stef Zabek).

The Merritt Secondary School girls’ rugby team will be attending the B.C. AA championships in Abbotsford later this month.

The Lady Panthers earned the third and final berth to provincials by defeating Lillooet 32-10 in a playoff game on May 9. Each team had won one of their previous two meetings.

“It was probably one of our best games of the season,” said MSS head coach Erica Martindale. “The girls were firing on all cylinders.

“We did a good job of rucking over the ball, and finally figured out how to utilize the wide ball. We beat [Lillooet] on the outside all the time,” said Martindale.

The coach added that for the first time since the beginning of the season, her team was healthy.

“We’ve gotten a number of players back from injury, and our depth really showed. I feel like we’ve come full circle.”

Scoring for Merritt in the playoff game against Lillooet were Emma Ferch with three tries, Haley Zabek with a pair, and Nika Beech with one. Keisha Henry contributed a successful convert.

The MSS girls’ rugby team will travel down to Abbotsford on May 25.

Merritt, along with Westsyde and Valleyview from Kamloops, will be the three Okanagan representatives at the 16-team provincial championships.

Martindale and her MSS team do not yet know what their ranking is going into the tournament, or who they will be playing in their opening match.

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