The Comox Valley Kickers Women’s team, sporting their marvellous new uniforms, suffered a rude awakening following its two month long Christmas break when it suffered an inglorious, 63-0, defeat at the hands of the Nanaimo Hornets on Saturday at Village Park in Cumberland. To its credit the Kickers kept playing right ‘til the final whistle and in fact conceded fewer tries in the second –half than it did in the first half. In all the visitors scored thirteen tries and four conversions.

Nanaimo wing Kailey Rintara topped the scorers for the visitors with a hat-trick of tries, all in the second-half, while fullback Arlene McGuff added two tries and two conversions with flanker Karli McFarlane adding two tries. Brenna Wilson, Kim Stewart, and Dana Neilsen scored singles with Cloe Chapdeline and Stewart kicking a conversion each.

The well-drilled and well-disciplined Nanaimo team used its very experienced back-line to great effect in scoring most of its tries, however the Kickers forwards gave their opposite numbers a lesson in scrummaging as the locals held the edge in the set pieces.

The Nanaimo backline continually brought their fullback McGuff into the line to add an extra man (woman?) which saw the Kicker back-line stretched to the limit and making desperate tackles to try and thwart further scores.

One Kicker back-fielder did show surprisingly well in the loss in what was for her, her first game of rugby. Playing on the wing, Michelle Hamilton found more work than is usual in that position as she continually looked to be involved. She made telling tackles and ran well when she got the ball in her hands. “I was a bit lost out there,” admitted the rookie after the match. “I had only watched a couple of videos of rugby before playing today. I’m the kind of person who learns by doing, and the more I played, the more I got it. I loved every minute of the game, especially the tackling, and I’m really looking forward to our next fixture.”

“The girls did well despite a lack of numbers,” said Coach Steve Russell missing some of his regulars who work on Mount Washington on some game days. “Laura Locklin played especially well at scrum-half and it was terrific to see Dee Bowe back on the field for at least half the game as she recovers from a knee injury.”

View the photos from the game in an album on Facebook.

The Kickers Women take on Burnaby next Saturday Feb. 12 at home. Kick-off 12 noon.

The Kicker Men’s team enjoyed a bye over the Super Bowl weekend and take on Powell River at home on Sunday Feb. 13 Kick-off 1 p.m.