PandasSports

Pandas Rugby take 3rd overall in Canada West with first win against Dinos since 2014

The Pandas defeated the Calgary Dinos with a score of 15-14.

The Pandas Rugby 15s team placed third overall in the Canada West conference after facing the University of British Columbia (UBC) Thunderbirds and the University of Calgary Dinos. In the game against the Thunderbirds, the Pandas lost 12-64. Against the Dinos, the Pandas won with a score of 15-14.  

On October 20, the Pandas faced a hard start as UBC Alayna Scramstad scored the team’s first try in under two minutes. Savannah Bauder then made the convert kick following Scramstad’s try, setting the Thunderbirds with an early seven-point lead. 

In the rest of the first half, UBC completed seven more tries and six more convert kicks. However, the Pandas ended the half with their first try of the game, by Bronwyn Dormaar. The following convert kick, taken from the outside line fell incomplete. The missed convert left the score at 5-47 for the Thunderbirds, at the end of the first half.

In the second half, the Pandas allowed three tries and a single convert by UBC. Just over halfway through the second, the Pandas made their second try and convert of the game, as Kate Manning flung herself onto a ball that had rolled into the end zone. Manning followed up the try with a successful conversion to give the Pandas 12 points. 

The Canada West semifinal game ended with the Pandas at 12 to UBC’s 64. 34 of UBC’s 64 had been scored by Bauder. The Thunderbirds went on to play University of Victoria for first place, and the Pandas were matched up against Calgary for third. 

On October 23, the third-place game saw the Pandas and Dinos neck-in-neck for most of the game, before Pandas Kate Manning completed a penalty goal. The kick ended the game at 15-14 in favour of the Pandas. The win marked the first Pandas win against Calgary since 2014. 

The Dinos were first on the scoreboard as Tajeah Thompson scored a penalty goal in the sixth minute, setting the game at 0-3.

The Pandas then scored five as Panda Maria Sawiak caught the ball on the outside line and ran through the line to complete the try. Before the end of the first half, the Dinos scored one more penalty goal, setting the score for the first at 5-6 for Calgary.

The Dinos started the second half with another penalty goal, which was quickly retaliated against with a second Pandas try. Alberta’s Bella Cuciz caught the ball in the centre of the field and completed the try for five more points. Manning made the convert kick to give the Pandas another two points, setting the score at 12-9. 

The score would sit at 12-9 for most of the second half, before Calgary got their first try of the game in the 75th minute. The Dinos missed their convert kick, only taking a two-point lead over the Pandas.

Manning’s game-winning penalty kick just off centre at the 20-yard mark was scored after the official 80-minutes of play. The successful kick set the score at 15-14 for the Pandas and marked the end of play.

Amanda Sparks

Amanda is the 2022-23 deputy sports reporter for The Gateway. She is in her final year of a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in English. When she has time, you can usually find her under a pile of blankets crying over fictional characters, baking, hiking, or spending time with her cat.

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