The Velox Valkyries are headed to the Harris Cup provincial women’s rugby championship final for the third straight year.
The Valkyries defeated SFU 41-5 in the Adidas Women’s Premiership semifinal at Velox on Saturday. Burnaby Lake ousted United Rugby Club in the other semifinal, 13-5.
It sets up a rematch of last year’s Harris Cup final won by the Valkyries.
“We’re happy because we’re in the finals,” said first year coach Oliver Scott. “But it’s a bit frustrating to prepare for a bigger challenge without a more competitive opponent (in the semifinal).”
Seven different Valkyries scored tries Saturday: Brittany Sims, Davine Burton, Kelsey Oetting, Lynzi Anderson, Courtney Sims, Frederique Rajoute and Monique Boag, who also converted three of the tries.
Just as there is disparity in the quality of competition there is also disparity within the Valkyries squad. After the Valkyries won the Harris Cup there was an exodus of players. About half of last year’s starting premier players returned. Several times this season the team has run training with less than 15 players, far short of the desired 22 players on a gameday roster. This comes after the women’s program easily outnumbered the men during training nights at Velox the past three years.
Former national team prop and longtime Valkyrie Marlene Donaldson leads the forwards, which is the strength of the squad.
“There’s been some frustrations but we also have a good core and everyone’s pulled up their socks,” Scott said.
The Valkyries finished first in the Adidas Premiership this season despite enduring a 76-22 thrashing by Burnaby in the regular season.
Velox’s top men’s side won the Cowichan Cup Div. 1 Island championship on Saturday, 46-20 over the Nanaimo Hornets.
Velox is hosting an open house and community address Sunday (May 5) from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at 3957 Gordon Head Rd.