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The women’s rugby team is more than on a roll; they’re steamrolling their opponents.
In a league with only four teams, 2-0 is good, 3-0 is dominant. They have already beaten the other three division teams by wide margins. They have the talent, but hard work and a strong team focus are the main reasons for their success.
Sophie Manuel, a veteran fullback for the Tommies, says the team’s success is due to each player’s focus and commitment to a common goal.
“We’re hoping for a championship this year. It’s expected now I think.”
If the women are feeling the pressure, they’re not showing it. Instead, they’re working hard to keep their winning streak alive. The players hone their skills at practice four times a week and improve their endurance with circuit training at the gym.
“I think we’re winning because of our focus. Even when our coach was away, everyone showed up and practiced hard,” says Manuel. “We watch a tape of every game we play, and prepare for each team individually.”
The effort helped STU rookies make the transition into university rugby. While some teams struggle to integrate first year players into the squad, the Tommies don’t have this problem.
“We have a lot of rookies with a lot of talent,” Manuel says. “Usually you spend time making sure that first-year players understand everything, and are able to play at the team’s level, but we haven’t had to do that.”
The women have one rule that exemplifies their drive – no drinking for two days before the game. For many students, this is a huge sacrifice. But at 3-0, that sacrifice has paid off. Success this year has been built around the idea of the team. There are no stars. The women play as a unit; everyone synchronized. Each week their play evolves. Each week they add another W to their record.