pandas

Katie Hagan (1L)

On a snowy October morning, 19 unsuspecting female law students boarded a bus to Kamloops to compete in the Western Canadian Law Rugby Tournament. Little did they know, 10 hours of bus-riding and a few rugby games later, they would get to take another 10-hour bus ride home, but this time as CHAMPIONS.

The Panda Bearristers arrived at the rugby pitch bright and early Saturday morning, only to find their first game against UBC had been postponed. This gave the team the opportunity to watch their full-contact competitors, Calgary and TRU, go head-to-head. With TRU taking the victory, the Pandas were ready to face them in their first match. After a nerve-wracking start, each member of the Pandas started to feel comfortable with their positions and each other, and were able to pull out a clutch 3-2 win over TRU. Special thanks to the Panda’s outside center, Moe Reid, for scoring all 3 tries.

Knowing that Calgary had already lost to TRU, the Pandas’ confidence was at an all-time high heading into their second game. This confidence soon materialized and became apparent to the Calgary ladies and fan’s alike with the Pandas scoring three tries in the first half, and five tries total. With this big win, the Pandas claimed their spot in the big championship game, but not before having the opportunity to get a little handsy with the 7s touch-rugby UBC team.

It was officially time to face off against TRU to determine who would get to take home the non-existent trophy! With truly inspiring speeches from Coach Brad and captains Deirdre Fleming and Allie Larson, the Panda Bearristers were ready to leave everything they had on the rugby pitch. The game was a showcase of team effort and the skills each Panda had somehow crafted in 6 weeks of practice.  The game ended in a shutout victory for the Pandas with 3 tries and a couple bruises to add to the collection. The victory continued into the evening with a winning performance by the Panda’s boat race team, anchored by Taylor Holland, and a couple too many boot shoots to celebrate those inaugural tries.

The weekend couldn’t have been summed up better than by the Panda Bearrister’s MVP, Moe Reid, in three simple words: “Winning is fun”. The Panda Bearristers are looking forward to defending both their rugby and boat-racing title on home soil next season!