Gaels defeat Lions

Roaring start for women’s rugby squad

Women’s rugby defeated the York Lions 31-19 on Wednesday.
Women’s rugby defeated the York Lions 31-19 on Wednesday.
Credit: 
Supplied photo by Tom Barnett / York Excalibur

The Golden Gaels women’s rugby team opened their season with a convincing 31-19 win over the York University Lions on Wednesday.

The team received tries from five different players, including two from scrum-half Lauren Young.

Young, one of the team’s four co-captains, said she was pleased with her team’s effort.

“I thought we came out strong. We have lot of new players out this year, and I was really impressed with their effort,” she said.

The Gaels’ other tries were scored by Laura Cooney, Ashley McIntyre, Jocelyn Poirier and Breanne Sherwood. Peggy-Rae Carswell converted three of the five tries, recording six points in the game.

Head coach Beth Barz said the team’s performance bodes well for the season to come.

“[The game was] a great start to the season, and definitely a positive step forward to where we’d like to be at the end of the year,” she said. “We now have a firm foundation from which to work.”

The Gaels arrived ready to play and took the play to the Lions from the opening whistle. Queen’s recorded tries in the opening minute of the game, as well as five minutes in, 10 minutes in and 15 minutes in. The team led 19-7 at the half and never looked back.

Barz said having balanced scoring among several players was a pleasant surprise.

“We had a lot of offensive threats,” she said. “They weren’t necessarily the people we would expect to score a try. We have a lot of people who can score.”

Young said the Gaels’ teamwork helps in that regard.

“We worked well together—it’s not just going to be a few people scoring this year,” she said.

Barz was especially impressed with Young’s play because this is her first season playing scrum-half, the all-important link between the forwards and the backs.

Young said the team’s forwards are helping her adjust.

“The first try my forwards did a really good job,” she said. “I’m playing a new position so I’m still learning.”

Despite the team’s good start, Barz said there’s still a lot of room for improvement.

“We have some strides to make, but I’m confident that we can make those strides by the end of the season,” she said.

The Gaels have their home opener at 1 p.m. on Sunday against the Trent Excalibur. The Excalibur are coming off a shocking 12-10 upset of the defending OUA champion Guelph Gryphons on Wednesday.

After taking Thursday off, the Gaels are spending the next two days improving their defence.

“We’re going to work on defence and looking to create opportunities off of turnovers,” Young said.

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