Women’s rugby ekes out a win

Gaels defeat Blues Saturday afternoon, improve to 2-1 on the season

Queen’s flanker Shauna Geerts brings down Toronto fly-half Hannah Ehrhardt Saturday.
Queen’s flanker Shauna Geerts brings down Toronto fly-half Hannah Ehrhardt Saturday.
Gaels Jocelyn Poirier (left) and Emily Stern track down Varsity Blues’ inside centre Jenny So in Saturday’s game. Queen’s won 19-12.
Gaels Jocelyn Poirier (left) and Emily Stern track down Varsity Blues’ inside centre Jenny So in Saturday’s game. Queen’s won 19-12.

The Gaels pulled off a nail-biting 19-12 win against the visiting University of Toronto Varsity Blues Saturday afternoon, but the game won’t be remembered as a classic.

Head coach Beth Barz said the game wasn’t the Gaels’ best effort.

“I’m disappointed in the way we played and I know the girls are too,” she said. “I saw flashes of good, solid play. We need to play like that all the time.”

The game opened with lacklustre play on both sides. Halfway through the first, the Gaels’ Jocelyn Poirier broke the deadlock with a thrilling 20-metre run straight through the Blues’ defence. Emily Stern kicked the conversion to give Queen’s a 7-0 lead.

The Gaels maintained the momentum, threatening to extend their lead, but the Blues responded at the end of the first half with a try of their own to reduce the score to 7-5 at the half.

The Blues came out firing in the second half and quickly took a five-point lead, but Queen’s returned with sustained pressure near Toronto’s try-line, allowing Brehannah Hopgood to score a second try for the Gaels and tie the game at twelve.

Towards the end of the game, the Gaels restored their seven-point lead when Julie Engelhardt found a hole in the Blues’ defence and took the ball in from midfield.

The Gaels spent the final 10 minutes of play warding off waves of Toronto attackers, who, despite crossing the try line four times, couldn’t touch the ball down.

Barz said she was always confident the Gaels’ defence would hold up under the strain.

“I knew 100 per cent we could make those tackles,” she said.

With time running out, the Blues’ mounting frustration was evident, culminating in verbal insults toward the referee and the Gaels. Queen’s hung on for the win, though, improving to 2-1 on the season and taking sole control of second place in their division behind the 3-0 Guelph Gryphons.

Despite a late surge from the Blues, Queen’s hung on for the win.

Next Saturday, the Gaels travel to Hamilton to play McMaster University. The Marauders are also sitting second in their division and are coming off a tie with the

Brock Badgers.

Barz said her team will need to be at its best.

“We’ll be working on intensity and responsibility on the field,” she said.

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