DCU Women’s Rugby victorious in first match of the season

Aoife Guinan of DCU Womens Rugby in action during the first game of the season

DCU Ladies Rugby Club had an impressive 41-24 win against Portdara in round one of the Women’s Leinster league.

The match, which took place in Portalington RFC, saw nine debuts from the DCU side and a total of seven tries, three of which were successfully converted.

Two tries came from Lauren Reitig, with Nikki Gibson, Zoe Valentine, Katie Kelly, Casey White and debutant Siafra Ni Bhriain all adding another one each to the scoreboard.

“It took us a few minutes in the first half to really gel and build up the momentum but once we got into it there was no stopping us!” According to DCU captain, Louise McCleery.

The club, which was formed in 2018 following the success of the college team, have been back training since mid-July. For Aoife Guinan, her debut with the club marked her first match in over 18 months. “It was absolutely nerve wrecking but absolutely incredible” she told The College View.

Guinan, who hails from Birr, Co. Offaly, said the decision to join the club was a “no-brainer”.

“Everyone gets on and it’s so friendly, I think that’s why we played so well”.

The club team is affiliated with DCU but runs separately to the college team and is open to women of any age, regardless of whether or not they’re a student. For McCleery, and vice-captain Zoe Valentine, both of whom are from Co. Louth, the goal for the year is to build upon the positive culture within the club and maintain a high standard of rugby.

“We had a great season prior to Covid-19 having finished 3rd in our first year as a Leinster League Club” McCleery told The College View.

“This club started out to give girls who didn’t have home clubs or didn’t have somewhere to play a team and now we’ve created an atmosphere that draws new players in from all parts of the country,” Stated McCleery.

The club team train Tuesdays and Thursdays between St. Pats Campus and St. Claires Sportsgrounds. Despite its short history as a club, they are aiming to top their third place ranking from last season.

McCleery goes on to say, “We have a really strong team this season and aim to finish at the top!”.

“The goal is to maintain that high standard with the aim of breaking into the AIL leagues in the next few years. We want to play with the top rated clubs week in week out and we know that our unique squad can bring us there”.

Jessica Woodlock