The Colusa County Women’s Rugby Football Club is still a few months away from officially being accepted into the Northern California Rugby Football Union, but that hasn’t stopped them from competing in the meantime.
Just last month, the CCWRFC traveled to the Ethos 7’s Tournament at the Corte Madera Town Park in Marin, and their first 15’s action could come as soon as Saturday morning in Shasta.
The club faced some stiff competition at the 7’s tournament last month, and showed improvement throughout each of their four games, multiple members of the club said at practice on Wednesday.
“They have played four 7’s matches, all in one day,” Cody Beckley, who is helping coach the team, said. “They might play a couple more 7’s matches – we’re trying to give them as many as possible.”
Paul Santinelli is the coach for the CCWRFC, but was out of town during last week’s practice.
The CCWRFC have been playing 7’s matches primarily to get in shape for the upcoming rugby union, or 15’s season. The club will be likely be accepted into the NCRFU during its annual meeting, usually held at the beginning of September. After being accepted into the NCRFU, the club’s season will coincide with the men’s season CCWRFC player Katie Mumma said.
“It will run from January to March, or if we win, to April or May,” Mumma said. “And we intend to win.”
A solid core of about a dozen girls have been a regular presence at practices since the club started back in February.
“We have a solid twelve that have been out here since day one, and now that Chico State is out of school, we are expecting to get some more girls out here,” Mumma said.
One Chico State alumna who previously competed with Chico State’s women’s rugby club is Colusa’s Tenille Tauscher. Tauscher has been one of the constants with the local club, and has also helped encourage some Chico State players to bring their talents to Colusa County.
“I played for Chico State in the Fall of ’14 and Spring of ’15. I made a trip to Missoula for Maggot Fest – one of the biggest rugby tournaments in the country, I believe – with Chico State players and some alumni,” Taucscher said. “And I played Summer 7’s with Chico players as well. In Fall of ’15, I tried to catch practices with Chico State when I could, but really wanted to help start something local. I was always keeping in touch with Paul Santinelli and finally he got something started here.”
While the CCWRFC may have their first taste of competitive 15’s action this weekend when they travel to Shasta to play on July 23, there is some uncertainty as to whether they will play 15’s or 7’s.
“Apparently, (one of the teams) doesn’t have enough players, so they may make it a 7’s tourney,” Tauscher said. “But, depending on if we have extra players, we might be able to loan some girls to them – I pulled some players from Chico to come help.”
Looking toward the club’s future in the NCRFU, Beckley said there is reason to be excited.
“I think they have a good chance of getting something really good together. They have good athletes that should be able to fill a team out really well,” he said. “There is a good balance of athletes – they won’t have a bunch of players at just one position.” ■