A Red Deer Titans player makes a tackle against the Calgary Rams on Saturday at Great Chief Park in the Calgary Rugby Union senior women’s semifinal. Red Deer won the game 46-24. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)

Titans Rugby women advance to league final with win over Calgary Rams

The Red Deer Titans would not be denied a trip to the Calgary Rugby Union senior women’s league final.

They rolled on Saturday to a 46-34 victory over the Calgary Rams at Titans Park to clinch a spot in the championship game next weekend.

Red Deer knocked off the Rams 62-20 two weeks ago in Calgary and knew from that game what they needed to do in the semis.

“We knew it was going to be tough. At the end of the last game they really picked up the pace and we slowed down, so it was scary in the last 20 minutes. We didn’t want that to happen this time,” said captain Laeken Kinch.

“It was difficult because we had one sub. This is a really defining moment for our legacy because this year we have a premier team… it’s a very defining moment walking into this game knowing it could go either way. Having it go in our favour is so powerful.”

The match Saturday started out even but by halftime, it was the Titans gaining control with a 22-12 advantage. Kianna Doyle had a pair of try’s in the first half for Red Deer and Leah Brunner added another.

Two more try’s to start the second half pushed the lead to 34-12. Midway through the second, Calgary edged their way back with a pair of scores that cut the deficit to 34-24.

“We had a couple more of our premier teammates come in and talk to us. It really changed the mood and things started to work in our favour. We couldn’t take our foot off the gas,” Kinch said.

“Having the support from our premier players, coming in and telling us how it needed to be done was just what we needed.”

Doyle added another try and Red Deer capped off the scoring late to close out the victory.

“This was the moment for our team. Going into finals, you know this is what we were fighting for going to the finals– we’re just so happy. We’re so content and happy right now,” added Kinch.

The win was especially gratifying because many of the Titans women had to suit up for the semi-final of the Alberta Women’s Premier league when they squared off against the Calgary Hornets.

For Kinch, both teams having so much success was a great way to celebrate the game and its growth in Red Deer this weekend.

“This is the first year we’ve had both the (senior women’s) and premier team,” Kinch explained.

“We didn’t really have the numbers we were expecting to have, so we have lots of girls that have to play both games. Some of our girls are back at university or some are away. It’s been tough making both teams work, but this moment has shown it did work. It’s so heartwarming for me.”

The Titans premier women fell 31-20. The Titans senior men’s division two team lost 52-24.

Email sports tips to Byron Hackett

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A trio Red Deer Titans players try to tackle against the Calgary Rams on Saturday at Great Chief Park in the Calgary Rugby Union senior women’s semifinal. Red Deer won the game 46-24. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)

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