The Schoolgirls Rugby All-Star team was on the wrong side of a heavy 55-5 defeat against a T&T Rugby Football Union Club Select team at the St James Police Barracks, on Saturday.Still, the young ladies of the Girls All Star team could certainly hold their heads high at the end of their maiden competitive outing of full-contact rugby.
Cheered all the way by a vocal gathering of friends, family and schoolmates, the All Star team valiantly attempted to resist the force of the Club Select. The Club Select, which included no less than four T&T senior women's rugby players in Nicolette Pantor, Kathleen Stephen, Alesha Bruce and Blosson Stewart, jumped out to a 35-0 lead by halftime with five tries and five conversions.
The All Stars seemed to be rattled by the viciousness of the Club Select's hits and searing pace which the more experienced team used to expose the All Star team's defence.
By the second half, the All Stars found some rhythm and an early second half try by Aaliah DeGale boosted the team's confidence. With braver and more organised defending, the All Stars restricted their opponents to 20 points in the second half and came close to the opposite goal line on more than a few occasions before the final whistle.
As recent invitees to train with the national team, Chantelle Charles and Pateia Paul led the school girls with distinction, while Danielle DeGannes and Aquila O'Brien also impressed.
Signs of the All Star team's potential were certainly evident and among those applauding their effort were president of the School's Rugby Football Union Gregory Rousseau, as well as coach of the senior women's national team Carlton Felix.