Women’s Cougar Rugby (WCR) is the first of the Pacific Coast teams to secure a spot at DI college nationals. With its 45-22 win over UC Davis at this evening’s territorial semifinal, WCR heads to tomorrow’s final against the winner of Stanford v Chico State.
“It was a tough game for us,” WCR coach Tom Waqa said. “Led by Delaney Chapman, UC Davis played their hearts out. We were definitely tested, and they put a lot of pressure on us. The score doesn’t tell the story of the game.”
UC Davis caught WCR off guard and scored first. The Cougars fought back to a 17-10 halftime lead, but a lack of consistency prevented the team from sustaining momentum.
“There were spots where we were brilliant, but then we’d lose it,” Waqa said. “We were lucky that we scored during the good spots.”
"It was a good game, but they worked the ball well through the backs and had a stronger second half to pull away," UC Davis' Chapman said. "Both sides played hard and it was a tough game."
Rebekah Siebach led with three tries, while Kylie Maclennon, Kayla Ellingson, Kristi Jackson and Chanel Arts also cross for five-pointers. Star Bollinger notched five conversions.
“It was a tale of two sides,” Waqa continued. “We had the advantage in the backs, and their work in the breakdown was phenomenal. They had the better of us in the forwards."
UC Davis took advantage of some basic mistakes in the fourth quarter to tack on some more points, but the comeback evolved too late.
Looking ahead, Waqa saw some obvious areas of improvement on which the team must shore up before tomorrow’s match.
“We have a lot of work to do for our game against Stanford,” said Waqa as he watched Stanford build a 24-0 first-half lead over Chico State. “Our forward pack needs to be better in the breakdown. They provided some good ball for us, but then we didn’t capitalize. We play a similar game as Stanford, so it’ll come down to whoever is consistent and maintains possession.”
The Pacific Coast DI Championship will be decided tomorrow evening, as will the third-place game, the winner of which will also head to nationals.