DCU’s ladies rugby team lost out in their league semi-final to Limerick Institute of Technology in Waterford last week.
While they didn’t come home with a win, DCU held LIT scoreless for the entire second half, the game finishing 12-5 in favour of the Munster team.
Despite losing, coach Karl Miller described the match as “thrilling” but admitted that finishing the first half with such a gap in the scoreline left DCU chasing the game in the second half.
“In the end we lost but Limerick are a very good team. It was 12-5 at half time and the whole second half we were just chasing the game. We came close four or five times but we just couldn’t get the score in the end. It was a thrilling game and one of the best the girls have played yet. It wasn’t a bad result from the point of view that we are playing very much as a development team, as opposed to other teams where they have been playing together for years.”
Miller has only been coaching the team since the beginning of the year, and he is not the only newcomer, as a lot of the girls are new to the sport as well.
“The team is very much in the development stage. Almost half of the girls are new to the sport and even on Wednesday at the league semi-final we had girls there playing their very first rugby game for the team, as well as another three or four only playing their second game.
“There was one girl playing her second game on Wednesday and she was by far our best player that day. It was amazing to see how far she’d come in the space of just a few weeks.”
The team was eager to show Miller their potential from the beginning. They hammered Sligo Institute of Technology in his first game in charge.
“It was only a few weeks ago that we beat Sligo Institute of Technology 69-10, or something like that. It was my first game in charge and I couldn’t fault the girls. They were absolutely amazing.”
Unfortunately DCU were missing a number of players last week from the team that played Sligo, which put the team at something of a disadvantage.
“We had a number of players there that day that couldn’t make the semi-final and they were certainly missed in the backline,” said Miller. “Last week, we travelled down with five backs, so we had to get a few forwards to help out at the back.
“I think that with maybe two or three more players we would definitely have made it through to the final.”
As the squad is still very much in the development stages, he is looking forward to seeing how the team will progress.
“When you compare us to the likes of Limerick or Cork, who have had girls playing for years, our side is very much a development squad at the minute and it was a real achievement to reach the semi-finals when you put it in a context like that.”