Cougars rugby players talk positions, protection, and peer support

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Are braids the preference for rugby in general or is this just a U of R thing? Myah Duperreault

Ever wondered how it feels to play a full-contact sport with next to no protection?

Last week, the Carillon did an interview with two rugby coaches for the University of Regina rugby team. This week, we decided to go with something similar and get to know the team, so we interviewed two players: Kaylie McCall, with six years of experience in backs position, and Liv Mogentale, with seven years, have an evident passion for the game.

How long have you been playing for the Cougars Rugby Team?

McCall has been playing with the Cougars for three years, and Mogentale has for four.

Can you describe your positions so readers can understand its importance in the game better?

McCall and Mogentale have worked together as team-mates to tell you how they work together on the field as backs. “Offensively, the backs look for open space on the pitch to hit holes and make breaks in the defensive line in attempt to score a ‘try.’ A try in Rugby is a score worth five points, and the team can get up to seven points if a convert is accomplished. Defensively, the backs work with the forwards, creating a defensive line in attempt to prevent the opposing team from breaking through. The backs have many plays that help gain advantage in the game.”

Which previous teams have you played for?

These girls have been playing side by side for many years. “Both of us played for the Suns Rugby Club throughout high school, and ventured over to the Women’s Regina Rogues rugby team in previous years. Upon entering University, we both began playing for the Cougars while maintaining our spot on the Regina Rogues in the University’s off-season.”

What is your favourite part about rugby, and what is your favourite part about playing for the Cougars?

McCall states “my favourite thing about Rugby is how inclusive it is for all. Rugby has a position for everybody and is a very welcoming community. My favourite part about playing for the Cougars is the friendships I have built with my teammates, and the development I am able to have on and off the pitch thanks to the support of my team and coaches.”

Mogentale added “My favourite part about Rugby is the team comradery. My favourite part        
      about playing for the Cougars is the long-lasting friendships I have made on and off the pitch.”

Now that you have gotten the chance to get to know both girls individually and more about their feelings of the game, let’s see how else they explain why they love being on the pitch so much together as teammates and as friends. The following answers were prepared by both McCall and Mogentale.

What is it like to play a full-contact sport with basically no protection?

“The sport can seem intimidating but, with practice, once you step on to the pitch you know your job; if done correctly, (it) is a very safe environment. Injuries only begin to occur when rules are being broken or athletes are not doing their jobs.”

The Carillon did an interview last week with your coaches. Can you describe what each of their coaching skills are like and what you like about each of them?

“Julie is in the Canadian Rugby Hall of Fame, so it is an extreme privilege to be coached by her and to have the opportunity to develop as an athlete. Julie’s coaching style is focused hard work.”

“Soutchai is very enthusiast and brings a sense of belonging to the team.”

What do you hope to see for the Cougars this coming season?

“This year, we had more girls come out to try the game than we’ve had in many previous years. Actually, this year we were able to play two 15s games so far which we are not usually able to do because we don’t have enough girls. The Cougars Women’s Rugby Team is technically only a 7s team, but with the amount of interest the club has been gaining, we hope to become both a 7s and 15s team. We hope to see the team continue to grow in future years.”

What is some advice that you would love to give to a rookie wanting to play for the Cougars next year?

“Come on out and give it a try! We have girls every season that have never played before coming who try it out and end up loving it. No experience is necessary, and everyone is very welcoming. The more experienced players are always willing to lend a helping hand, and no one is left feeling out of place.”

Now you know, Carillon readers. Keep your eyes peeled for any more rugby talk we line up over the upcoming games!

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