Summit girls rugby dominates ThunderRidge
FARMER’S KORNER – In its only home game of the season, the Summit Under 19 girls rugby team dominated ThunderRidge High School 40-0.
Despite the overwhelming margin of victory, however, the girls knew they weren’t playing up to their nationally ranked standards.
“I think we could have played a lot better, but we held up,” said senior flyhalf Kate Orlin, who had four tries in the game to bring her career total in the program up to 195 points.
Senior captain Jara Johnson added: “We need to work on some speed issues.”
It’s not unlike these girls to hold themselves to high expectations.
With two national championships (1998, 1999) and three state titles (1998, 1999, 2002), they have to.
“We did what we had to do today,” said head coach Karl Barth. “We didn’t play our best game. Once we realized we could control the game, we kind of let off the gas a bit.”
And control the game is exactly what the girls did, overpowering ThunderRidge from the start.
“Kate and Janae (Manion) were seeing a lot of holes and taking them,” Barth said.
Much of the first half was the show of Kates. Three times in the first half, Orlin scored a five-point try and Kate Chapman would follow up with a two-point kick.
The dominance continued in the second half. Though ThunderRidge threatened to score in the opening drive of the second, but Lea Taylor gained possession of the ball and brought it out 30 yards in a single drive.
Minutes later, Katelyn Lerner scored a try, which was converted by Erin Nielsen. Shortly thereafter Taylor ran the ball in from the 50-yard line after brilliantly faking out the ThunderRidge fullback.
Taylor was playing in only her second game with the team after walking on at the end of the soccer season.
“I don’t really know how to play rugby but I know how to run and to run away from the girls that are running at me,” she said afterwards.
Orlin added a try late in the second for good measure, and now sits five points shy of the 200-point plateau, which has only been reached by three other players in the history of the program.
Normally a position player who works at assisting her teammates rather than stealing the show, Orlin was surprised at her own performance.
“I never know how I do these things,” she said. “I just happen to find the holes.”
The game marked the end of the regular season for the girls, who are playing in the state tournament on May 15, where they are tentatively scheduled to face Thunder Ridge again in the first round.
The girls postseason continues May 21-23 in Sacramento, when they attempt to nail their third national championship in the Kudu National Invitational Tournament.
Richard Chittick can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 236 or at email@example.com.
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