Raleigh Venom women D2 national championships

Nov. 12-14 in Mesa, Ariz.

The tournament will mark the first official Division II women’s rugby championships sanctioned by USA Rugby. The eight DII teams will contend for the national title, which will be an exciting chance to watch them make American women’s rugby history. The ground-breaking Division II teams include Albany, Miami/Ft. Lauderdale, Severn River, Albuquerque, Raleigh, Budd Bay, Pittsburg, and Santa Monica.

Fri Nov 12: Match 9/Field 4 10:15 AM Raleigh Budd Bay DII Quarter


The Venom, won their first match against the Budd Bay Bandits from Olympia, Washington by a score of 22– 7, after trailing 5-7 at the half. It was a tough match with several minor injuries, but the Venom dominated field position the entire second half.

They play again at 4:30 (Mountain Time) today against Albuquerque.


From the facebook fan page…
After a solid win against Budd Bay this morning, despite a hard fight the Venom lost to Albuquerque this afternoon. They play Pittsburg Sunday for the #3 spot.


This in from Dan Linville, who was in Mesa for the game:

Well, the journey came to a big halt this afternoon. The Albequare
team was a head taller than the Venom at every position. We played
hard, giving up four trys, unconverted, while we were able to score
and convert one. 20 to 7.

We lost one forward, tall blond, not sure of her name, on the first
play of the game. Blew out her knee. Off to the hospital.

We have a consolation match on Sunday around 1 PM.


The third place game between the Raleigh Venom and Pittsburgh, a repeat of last years championship game, is currently going on right now. The Venom are tied at the half 5-5 with Pittsburgh. Oh, and the Venom put in another unconverted try at the beginning of the second half, 10-5 Venom.

In other news, Albany won the Women’s DII Championship this year, defeating Albuquerque.


Pittsburgh just posted 3 points on a penalty conversion, 10-8 Venom. 15 minutes left in the game.


Pittsburgh just posted 3 more points on a penalty conversion with 3 seconds left in the match, 10-11 Pittsburgh. Tough defeat for the Venom after a hard and heart-fought match.

The Raleigh Rugby club will welcome the team home tomorrow evening at 10:15 (Southwest) and 10:34 (Continental). We are proud of your hard work this year and will be happy to have the MARFU Champions and #4 team in the Nation return safely to Raleigh.


Summary of the Weekend from Coach Mike:

The Venom’s first opponent for the national run was Budd Bay, from Olympia, Wa. their first trip to the nationals. Kicking off at 9am the Venom couldn’t get things going early and allowed a Budd Bay converted try 2 minutes into the match, 0-7. Feeling each other out for most the of the half the Venom didn’t get on track until just before half time with a try in the corner by wing Lauren Buslinger, 5-7 Budd Bay. The second half was all Venom with 3 trys and one conversion, looking like The Venom again with hard tackles and constant pressure on the ball. Laketa Sutton flanker touched down 1st at 5 minutes, outside center Tracie Sauer at 24 minutes and wing Lauren Buslinger finishing off the game with a try at 29 minutes. Budd Bay was a good side but were not able to keep pace with the Venom in the second half. Venom 22-7 winners

Winning the first game pitted the Venom against another new comer to the nationals, the Atomic Sisters from Albuquerque, NM. This was a big strong team that used the kick for territorial gain. From the opening kickoff 2nd row Ashley VanDriesen took a hard tackle and left the game with knee damage. Again the Venom started slow and allowed an early try at 3 minutes 0-5. Using the kick to stay in the Venom half, Albuquerque pressured the Venom into a penalty and from a quick tap the Sisters scored again. At 13 minutes the Venom were down 0-10. Play continued back and forth for the rest of the half with neither team gaining an advantage until the Sisters scored again right before half to bring the score at half 0-15. Regrouping at the break the Venom decided it was time to start playing rugby Venom style and came out with tenacious defensive pressure. The Sisters looked like a different team with pressure and the Venom were in possession much of the time. Flanker Laketa Sutton crossed the line at 10 minutes for the only Venom try, converted by lock Jessey Newman, 7-15. The Venom had several chances to score but continued to make small mistakes. With time running short the Sisters picked up and arrant pass and put one more try on the board to finish the game with a win, 20-7. The Venom were heart broken with the lost knowing they didn’t played a full match of Venom rugby. The lost pitted the Venom against Pittsburgh on sunday for the 3-4 position in national standings.

The Venom had saturday off to recover from hard matches on friday, so they took advantage of the time and had a team building experience of a scavenger hunt around the Phoenix area.

Sunday was a repeat of last years national DII final with Pittsburgh verses Venom. The Pittsburgh team looked much the same as last year and were a very hard hitting team again this year. The Venom came out much more determined to play a full 80 minutes and it showed from the opening kickoff. Flanker Laketa Sutton scored the first try of the match at 7 minutes, 5-0. The teams were very evenly matched as play went back and forth over the next 30 minutes. At 38 minutes Pittsburgh crossed the line from constant pressure inside 10 meters to bring the half to a close with the score tied 5-5. The Venom were playing a much better game against Pittsburgh and felt confident that things would go their way after the break. The second half was much like the first as neither team could gain any sustained advantage. Reserve Amanda Watkins coming in from fullback took advantage of a overload and scored the only try of the second half at 21minutes, giving the Venom a 10-5 advantage. Pittsburgh kicked a penalty goal at 26 minutes to get within 2, 10-8. Both teams were giving it their all for the last 15 minutes, Leading up to full time the Venom could not clear their line as Pittsburgh had a series of attempts to score, constant pressure lead to another Pittsburgh penalty kick 10-11, ending the game and the Venom’s hopes for a 3 place finish. Disappointed at the score, the Venom knew they had given their all and were proud to be apart of the national playoff again in 2010.

The Venom finished the day watching the premiere league final between New York and Beantown, seeing some of the best women’s rugby I have ever seem.

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