This is unofficially the first time that the Lightning have fielded 2 separate 15-a-side teams. What a dramatic change from two years ago when practice was often canceled for lack of players! Well done to the administration, players, and fans alike.
The Lightning First XV played the NAU first XV in an exciting match that showed a great deal of heart from both sides. The Lightning improved in their open field support plays and offloads and tactical kicking. The tackling intensity was quite evident even if the defensive structure of the blitz line and deep three cover was inconsistent at times. Significant improvements are still needed in the execution of scrums, lineouts, and crispness in backline play. Standouts from the match include multi-try scorers Ruby Parks and Becka Sewing. Final Score resulted in Lightning coming out on top 34-nil.
The Lightning Second XV played the NAU second XV in a follow-up game. There were many rookies playing their first match ever. It was exciting to see everyone improve right before everyone's eyes! Notable toughness and explosiveness was observed from Daniela Kaplan, Leah Williams, Erin Lynch, and Anita Montiel. Tess English had a great solo try. With the First XV subs coming in to give folks a breather, Lightning pulled away with the win 20-17.
Lightning would like to thank NAU for making the 4 hour trip to Tucson. We owe them a match in Flagstaff next time. We also thank our loyal supports for filling the bleachers. Lastly, big thanks to Coach Will in taking time away from his family to help support both sides toward victory.
The last preseason activity before the four-week December practice hiatus is an away tournament on December 3rd in Riverside, CA.