The DCU Ladies Rugby Club have secured their first triumph of the Women’s Leinster League Division 1 season against Old Belvedere Rugby Club, winning 37-16 on Sunday 29th of September.
After the success of the ladies team last year; winning DCU Club of the Year, an All-Ireland title and five trophies, it was decided that DCU would start a club team to compete in club competitions.
Coach Eddie Fallon said that playing in club games is very different from playing college matches, and that the team “struggled a little bit” in their first game.
“You’re going up against a lot better quality of players,” Fallon said. “Teams are a lot better prepared and a lot better drilled.”
DCU ladies rugby club members Eimear Corri, who plays second centre and Louise McCleery, the teams’ scrum half, said that Sunday’s game went very well but there was room for improvement.
“In the first game we were very unsettled,” McCleery said, “but this week, that weeks difference, it was like we’d been playing together for months.”
Corri agreed, saying that “it was a massive improvement from the week before.”
“[In the first game] we were caught in the hop a bit, in that we hadn’t actually come back to college yet so it was kind of just individuals doing their own thing, but we definitely played much more as a squad this time, it was a huge team effort”, she added.
The DCU ladies rugby club train twice a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays, while the DCU ladies rugby college team train on Mondays and Wednesdays. Fallon said that the alternating training days gives both teams more access to players.
“We played our first game of the season before college started back and we didn’t have a full squad … But we did have a full squad last Sunday when we beat Old Belvedere, and we showed what we can do for the rest of the year”, said Fallon.
The team are already back training in preparation for their next game at home to Edenderry Rugby Club on the 20th of October.
Optimistic about the games ahead, Corri described the opportunity the players have “to learn from the opposition and pick up things playing at that higher level.”
“I think it’s a massive step for us as a college to go into a women’s league. In the history of the DCU rugby club, we’ve only been playing in a college league, whereas now, we’re venturing into the senior women’s league,” she said.
Vice captain Casey O’ Brien said “we hope to keep up that intensity that we brought to the college games last year and to keep hold of the trophies we took.”
Image Credit: DCU Ladies Rugby