The Glendale Raptors shouldn’t have even been in the 2014 Women’s Premier League Championship match but the Atlanta Harlequins were ruled out due to playing an ineligible player. Glendale took their second change to the house as they defeating the defending WPL Champions, the Twin City Amazons 16-15. Perhaps the best women’s rugby match in the USA this year, the match was a brutal back and forth affair until the very last whistle.
Both teams were clinical on defense with each side having lengthy goal line stances. Throughout the first half the Amazons relied on their driving maul on the lineout to gain precious ground and drive Glendale back. Lynelle Kuglar was an absolute terror on defense and offense for the Amazons throughout the whole match. At the half, the Amazons were up by a slim margin 10-8.
The difference was WPL MVP Hannah Stolba at flyhalf who moved the ball wide and often. In a game full of brilliant rugby moments, one moment was particularly special as the Raptors broke the gainline, hooker Kit Wagner issued a perfect Sonny Bill Williams behind the back pass to scrumahlf, Kandis ‘Cookie’ Ruiz who crashed the line. After several other phases with multiple players standing in as scrumhalf the ball eventually ended up in Stolba’s hands who danced with high knees through several defenders to the tryline.
With only two minutes left, Amazon winger Kaelene Lundstrum ‘The Gazelle’, so aptly named by commentator Dallen Stanford, scooped up an inaccurate offload by Katana Howard and scored in the corner. The Amazons had pulled within one and all eyes were on the kicker, unfortunately the conversion was missed. Glendale kept the lead till the final whistle, ending the game 16-15 despite rabid attempts from the Amazons and a late yellow card to Glendale for delay of game.
In the other matches the Berkeley All Blues outlasted the Atlanta Harlequins 20-15 to claim third place in the final WPL standings. In the battle for fifth place, San Diego’s Kayla Roth’s two-try performance led the Surfers to a 29-14 victory over OORSU, while the DCFuries were able to avoid a winless weekend with a 27-13 win against New York which saw fly half Lauren Rhode record 12 points via two penalty kicks and three conversions.
Final 2014 Women’s Premier League Standings:
1) Glendale Raptors
2) Twin Cities Amazons
3) Berkeley All Blues
4) Atlanta Harlequins
5) San Diego Surfers
6) Oregon Sports Union
7) D.C. Furies
8) New York Rugby Club