Clippers ready to set sail into the semifinals, Wednesday

Published on Tuesday, 23 May 2023 08:20

The Dauphin Clippers rugby teams will host the Westman High School Rugby semifinals, Wednesday, after both teams finished the regular season undefeated.

The Clippers girls will host the Souris Sabres, at 5:30 p.m., while the Clippers boys will host the Vincent Massey Vikings at 6:30 p.m.

The finals will be played on Saturday.

Both Dauphin teams ended the regular season with wins over Souris, with the girls scoring a 45-7 win and the boys triumphing, 52-10.

Megan Thompson led the girls with two tries, with Tanya Devos, Brooke Miner, Emma Fox, Chloe Fletcher and Felicity Sahulka adding singles. Miner had five converts.

Because the Clippers were able to jump out to an early lead, Clippers coach Shawn Sarkonak said, they were able to do some load management with some of the team’s veterans, who were banged up a bit in a win over Rivers, May 11.

“With that being the last game of the regular season and us not having our playoff semifinal game until Wednesday, that extra time for them to heal all those bumps and bruises will do well for us,” he said.

The Clippers are a confident group, Sarkonak said, but they will not take any other team lightly.

“Every game starts at 0-0 and it’s a half at a time and we make adjustments accordingly,” he said.

The other semifinal will see Rivers host Crocus Plains on Tuesday.

William Miner paced the boys with three tries, while Joseph Lopez had two. Damon Nepinak, Oliver Dandeneau and Guzman Garcia added singles and Garcia converted six of the tries.

Clippers coach Aaron Miner felt the Clippers played down to their opponent’s level.

“It was definitely not our best outing of the season. I know the score doesn’t reflect that, but in a game that could have been a learning experience turned out to be players missing their assignments, not running onto the ball,” he said.

“Just the little things that we’ve worked on for so long weren’t being executed, because we were able to get away with things against Souris. But we won’t be able to get away with them against teams like Crocus or St. Paul’s.”

Given that the Clippers beat Vincent Massey, 42-5, in the regular season, Miner likes his team’s chances in the semifinals.

“We need to execute those finer details and use this game to build on. Not saying that Massey is going to be a walkover, but they are a weaker team. They are the fourth ranked team and we are the first. So my goal is to use that game to lead into the finals on Saturday,” he said.

Souris will face Crocus Plains in the other semifinal.

Provincials will be held, June 2 and 3 in Winnipeg, hosted by the St. Paul’s Crusaders.

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