When Mark Hall from Shawnigan Lake took over the head coaching job in August with the University of Victoria Vikes womens rugby team, he was looking at the big picture and not just results from this years Canada West season.
This team is very young with a tremendous amount of potential, said Hall. What they dont have is the experience at the university level.
This is a long-term project for me. Im trying to get the girls to break some of their bad habits and to play a wide-open style of rugby.
The Vikes open the season today at 5 p.m. at Wallace Field against Canada West powerhouse Lethbridge Pronghorns. Lethbridge has won the last six Canada West titles.
Lethbridge has one of the best teams in Canada, added Hall.
The Vikes will be back in action Sunday at Wallace Field against the Calgary Dinos. Game time is 11:30 a.m.
This is a new challenge for me. I really enjoy womens rugby.
Hall will be going to battle with 15 first-year players, including the likes of Shannon Fitzpatrick, Lizzie Adams, Kara Galbraith, Laura Crowe-Hutchon and Dacey Livingstone. All those rookies have the potential to be very good but it will take some time.
Some of the key returnees for Hall are Courtney Coulet, Chelsey Minter, Melissa Robinson, Abby Goodwin and Alanna Cryer. Fourth-year player Goodwin was a Canada West all-star last year.
Our job as coaches, is to develop these girls into the best possible rugby players. What we are missing right now is confidence. Success on the field would help them.
The other teams in the league are UBC and Alberta. The top four teams will qualify for the Canada West playoffs,
Oct. 19-21 in Edmonton.
© Copyright 2013