Thursday, as a new season of high school rugby kicked off, the UCC Lancers exacted early revenge over Blenheim, defeating the Bobcats 17-15 with a last second try.
With CKSS dropping out of the KCSSAA league this season, the Kent rugby look takes on a different look welcoming newcomers Wallaceburg and Belle River to round out the league with Blenheim and UCC. Winning their opening game against the reigning champions, UCC has asserted their early position as the team to beat.
Rachel King opened the scoring for the UCC Lancers, scoring a try in the first five minutes of the game. Justine Van Herk kicked a successful convert on the try to put the Lancers up 7-0. King and Van Herk were both named KCSSAA All-Star’s last season.
Much as they did last season, Breanne and Amber Nicholas, who were also both KCSSAA All-Star’s played a starring role for the Blenheim Bobcats.
Breanne Nicholas scored the first try for the Blenheim Bobcats near the end of the first half, narrowing the Lancers’ lead to 7-5. Early in the second half, Amber Nicholas broke off the back of a maul only metres out from the UCC try line and scored in the corner. Blenheim was unable to kick the convert however, but gained the lead 10-7.
With only 15-minutes left in the game, Breanne Nicholas broke away from UCC Lancers defense to score her second try of the game and put the Bobcats up 15-7.
UCC however, wouldn’t quit. Hannah Cartier scored UCC’s second try with 10-minutes remaining to pull the game to 15-12. Although it looked like their comeback would fall short, UCC continued to apply pressure to Blenheim, before Sydnee Nolan scored off a scrum set piece with no time left to lift the Lancers to a last second comeback 17-15 win.
The two teams will play again April 20, in what should be a heated re-match.
Wallaceburg will face Belle River Friday to continue the KCSSAA Girls Rugby season. Blenheim will play Wallaceburg next Wednesday, while UCC will face Belle River the same day.