UBC women’s rugby ended their season on a long awaited high note, securing their first victory of the season with a 45-34 win over the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns. The weather was on nobody’s side, as strong winds blew for the majority of the game, making kicks and general plays twice as hard.
The ’Birds came out roaring in the game and opened scoring, taking a 5-0 lead just before the fourth minute. UBC winger Ciara Malone scored a second try as UBC took a 10-0 lead before the 10-minute mark passed
Two minutes later, Lethbridge would finally put themselves on the board after winning a scrum and successfully running the length of the field to score a try.
The Pronghorns were also good on the two-point conversion — unlike UBC — and brought the game to a close score of 10-7. The following 10 minutes were tight, with the ball being exchanged between both teams and never leaving centre-field.
UBC managed to fight its way to the goal at the 20th minute and fly-half Mackenzie Carson was able to score a try. Malone was finally able to score a two-point conversion and UBC climbed back to a more comfortable 17-7 lead.
Lethbridge answered with intense offence, but UBC’s defence proved to be too much to handle and they were held back. At one point, a Pronghorn player carrying the ball had her foot on the goal line, but was held back from scoring a try.
Play returned to the centre of the field as both teams tried to break away and score, but botched passes or interception on both ends kept the score the same. At the 37th minute, UBC’s Mackenzie Lee scored the first of her four tries of the game and Malone was once again good for the two-point conversion, as UBC now held a commanding 24-7 lead.
With the first half of the game in its dying moments, Lethbridge came back to score two tries, but they failed to score on both of their two point conversions — due in part to strong wind. They hit the post on the second conversion attempt.
UBC came out of the break on top, as Lee scored try two and three, and with successful conversions by Malone, UBC held a very comfortable 38-17 lead over the Pronghorns.
Lethbridge made two tries to take the score to 38-29, but Lee answered with her fourth try as the final minutes on the clock ticked away. Lethbridge scored one more try in extra time, but they also hit the post on the extra two-point conversion again. The final score was a safe 45-34 win for the Thunderbirds.
It was a great show by the women’s rugby team, who finally got their first win after an overall disappointing season. The T-Birds will finish with a 1-3 record and second to last in the Canada West conference. Let’s hope that the style of play that was seen in this final game of the season is able to spill over to next year.