Barter promises this underdog will have some bite

John Browne
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Rock womens rugby team coach Dick Barter isnt about to predict an upset win for his team against powerhouse Ontario Sunday in National Womens League (NWL) action at Swilers field.

Newfoundland is the huge underdog heading into the 3 p.m. match against undefeated Ontario.

I dont think anybody has any delusions of winning the game, said Barter, but I believe our girls want to play as hard as they possibly can so that Ontario knows theyve played a well-trained and skillful rugby team.

The match finishes the inaugural NWL season for the Rock women, who are 1-3 on the season. Barters team lost 39-0 to Quebec and 25-0 to Nova Scotia while beating New Brunswick 19-13 to avoid the wooden spoon award for the last-place team.

Ontario, meanwhile, is 3-0 and has outscored the opposition 261-5. Unlike the Rugby Canada Super League, which includes three different clubs from Ontario, there is only one all-star team from Ontario in the NWL.

While Barter doesnt anticipate winning Sunday, he is expecting his players to leave it all on the field.

Theyd (Ontario) better be ready for a game because our girls will tackle the heck out of them, he said. This game is a matter of respect for us. We want to gain enough respect from them (Ontario) so they know theyve been in a match.

Our intention is to spend the day tackling, tackling and more tackling.

Barter said the team has done a fair bit of fitness training and has been working on all defensive drills the past two weeks.

We need to stop them from getting the ball out wide. We havent even had ball in hand for most of the drills weve done, explained Barter. Well attempt to force them into making errors. We want to be as defensive a unit as we can and make sure we can cover as much of the field as we can.

What Im looking at is turning scraps of possession from their mistakes into loose balls and into a counter attack.

Barter said his team will try to keep Ontario close to the scrum so they wont spin the ball out wide to their speedier players.

We dont want them getting the ball, the Rock coach said.

Barter is already looking forward to next season, when the team will pick up several graduating under-19 team players which will give the Rock some much needed depth.

Organizations: National Womens League, Rugby Canada Super League

Geographic location: Ontario, Newfoundland, Quebec Nova Scotia

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