Douglas — After two years without high school rugby, the Opeongo High School (OHS) varsity girl’s team returned to the pitch with great success.

Opeongo was one of three schools in the county, including Fellowes High School of Pembroke and Arnprior District High School, to enter two teams in a new rugby 7s league that culminated with Opeongo hosting the A and B-team championships last Thursday.

In the A-final, Opeongo’s A-team defeated the Fellowes A-team by a 15-12 score in a game that saw Opeongo score a late try to seal the win.

Coach Tim Demmons said the Fellowes team showed significant improvement since their last match and put up a much greater challenge in this final game. 

“The score went back and forth several times, with Opeongo scoring a try in the last minute of play to win the game 15-12,” he said.

Opeongo’s tries were scored by Aliyah and Alaina who earned two, including the winning try.

In the B finals, the Opeongo B team’s opponents were Fellowes once again, with the visitors coming out on the right end of the score.

“Despite some excellent individual performances, we couldn’t shut down their strong offence and Fellowes ended up winning 17-10,” remarked coach Sara Edmison.

Opeongo tries were scored by Megan Johnson and Marlo Van Lindenberg.

Opened Season With Tournament

Opeongo hosted the first ever rugby 7s tournament in Renfrew County on October 23 with all six teams competing.

Opeongo’s A team ended the day in first place with a perfect 5-0 record, scoring a total of 111 points, with only five points scored against them.

“It was a whole team effort led by Grace Howard’s smart running, passing and kicking, Morgan Sweeney and Jorja Roesner breaking tackle after tackle, Sam Hyatt, Meredith Enright and Juliette Stewart’s rucking, and Alaina Matheson and Layne Jessup’s speed on the wing,” Coach Demmons said. “Special mention, however, should go to Aliyah Leahy, who’s unstoppable speed and great timing allowed her to slice and dice the defence, scoring an unheard of 55 points over the course of the day.” 

Opeongo’s B team ended the day with a very respectable two wins and three losses to finish at the top of the B pool. 

“They played some solid rugby with excellent leadership from Violet Pinkerton and Megan Johnson, a few huge tries by Solana McPhee, and lots of gritty tackling by Kallie Lacombe, Marlo Van Lindenberg and Adrianna Van Lindenberg,” Coach Edmison noted. “Lily Cahill, Lily Harrison and Lyndsay Barr contributed to the team effort through some great rucking and gutsy play.”

Coaches Demmons and Edmison would like to thank the players for an awesome, fun and successful season of 7s rugby. Their skills improved greatly over the course of the season thanks to their commitment, drive and newfound love of the game. They are already looking forward to next season.