Canadian girls kick ass

By Sean Nyilassy

Being dubbed world champion of something is only dreamt about by the majority. Shucks, winning a hand of cards amongst some friends is plenty to make me beam. But two talented ladies right here at the University of Calgary can now be labelled as World University Women’s Rugby Sevens Champions.

The tournament took place in Beijing, China, Sept. 15-18 with Leigh Anne Swayne and Laura Stoughton representing the U of C on team Canada. Swayne is a student in our Graduate Studies program. Stoughton has been graced with the gift of a little more youth and is taking an undergraduate degree in Environmental Studies.

“We only had a short time to come together and sevens was a new game to all of us,” commented Swayne on the difficulties from switching from fifteens play to sevens.

Canada seemed to sail through the round robin tournament. We handily defeated China Two 20-0 and Russia 33-0 to advance to the semi-final round where we clashed with a tougher China One team.

Canada rose to the challenge and mauled team China One to the tune of 41-0. So after reaching the finals without giving up a single point there was only one further mission to complete; be the victor of the inaugural World University Rugby Sevens title. To secure the championship Canada would have to wrestle one more adversary to submission.

The Kazakhstan squad didn’t seem to break a sweat in the round robin either, taking 70 points in their two games, forfeiting none to their opponents. Their semi-final was a strong 17-5 triumph over the Russian team that Canada had put away earlier.

Luckily, Canada was able to dress in their game face and take Kazakhstan down with the final score resting at 27-5. Swayne believes Canada’s speed, power, smarts and patience helped us win.

“Rugby is always a sport of comraderie,” Swayne boasted of her favoured past time. “After games you get together with your opposite for beers–there are never any hard feelings no matter what happens on the pitch.”

As for Swayne, she hopes to continue in world rugby competition.

“Hopefully [the tournament] will act as a stepping stone to making the Senior Women’s Fifteens team.”

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