Innisdale Secondary School in Barrie hosted the second annual Invader Warm Up Girls’ Rugby Tournament at the Bradford Sports Dome on Thursday – the first tourney of the season, and an Ontario match-up that saw teams from across the south half of the province meet for a full day of rugby action on the artificial turf.
“This is early in the season. The reason we do it indoors is snow,” explained Innisdale coach Jay Malandrino.
It was also the first competitive action of the season for the new players on the teams, and an opportunity for returning players to tune up their skills.
“It’s a wonderful learning experience,” said Malandrino. “It’s all about growing the game.”
The girls’ teams included Innisdale, Nantyr Shores Secondary School out of Innisfil, Barrie North Collegiate, Collingwood Collegiate Institute, Philip Pocock Catholic Secondary School in Mississauga, and St. Roch Catholic Secondary School from Brampton.
The girls’ teams played three games in round-robin action before moving on to the playoff round.
The final saw Innisdale pitted against St. Roch – with the Barrie team going down to a 25-15 defeat at the hands of an unstoppable Brampton squad.
“It is what it is. We’ll live to fight again,” Malandrino told his disappointed team – promising them a practice out of doors on Monday, chilly weather or not, and more time spent reviewing the championship game.
“We are going to spend a lot of time looking at video,” he said. “Video is where you get better.”
Despite the loss, Melandrino called it “a great day – exposing the game to some new players, a wonderful learning experience!"