Women close regular season 5-0

Rugby now looks to make a deep run in the the postseason after a disappointing fourth-place finish last year

The Gaels defeat the University of Toronto Varsity Blues to go in to the OUA Quarterfinal with a 5-0 record.
The Gaels defeat the University of Toronto Varsity Blues to go in to the OUA Quarterfinal with a 5-0 record.

The women’s rugby team closed out their regular season last weekend with a 32-8 win over the University of Toronto Varsity Blues to finish the year with a perfect 5-0 record.

Outside center CIS All-Canadian Andrea Wadsworth led the team with three tries. Flanker Jocelyn Poirier added another two tries and fullback Samantha Trinier also put one down. Lock Rachelle Kranenburg added a convert to round out the scoring.

With a perfect season; the Gaels finished first in the Russell Division, are ranked seventh nationally and have guaranteed themselves home field advantage for the duration of the playoffs.

Head coach Beth Barz said she was pleased with the win but said that the team will need to improve heading in to the playoffs.

“The game had some high points and some low points,” Barz said. “I think in general our defensive execution was very good, very solid and up to par in many parts of the game. When we decided to go back to the basics and attack, we did very well. When we decided to complicate matters and attack, we became predictable and simply didn’t attack on the same level.”

Barz accredited the perfect season to the improvement of her younger players.

“Right from the beginning of training camp, many of our first-year players have not only recognized what the veterans have been trying to do, but they’ve made an intentional decision to do what [the veterans are] doing,” she said. “In some cases, [they have performed] better than the veterans.”

The Gaels will face a familiar opponent in the OUA Quarterfinals this weekend: the Varsity Blues. The Blues finished fourth in the Russell Division and will once again visit Kingston Field tomorrow for a rematch of last week’s tilt.

Despite playing them last week, Barz said the team will need to stay focused on their own game and not get carried away thinking about the Blues’ tendencies.

“This year we’ve tried to focus on what we want to accomplish and what our game looks like,” She said. “We resisted spending the entire time in film looking at what Toronto were doing and instead looking at what we needed to be able to do to build for the next three weeks.”

Trinier agreed with her coach, noting a couple of areas that the Gaels have worked on this week in practice.

“Last game our ability to keep the ball in contact wasn’t very strong so we definitely will be working on that this week,” Trinier said. “Our offence hasn’t quite clicked yet. We’ve had moments that it’s looked really good but we’re still waiting to play a full game with our offence clicking well.”

Wadsworth said she was not concerned about Toronto adapting to the Gaels’ style of play.

“We just need to focus on what we do well,” she said. “As long as we can do that, we’re good enough that other teams can’t stop us whether they know what’s coming or not.” She said despite the importance of the game, the team won’t prepare any differently for the game but instead focus on bringing their characteristic strong work ethic to the pitch.

“You don’t want to put too much emphasis on the game and psych yourself out but at the same time we know that it’s an important game,” Wadsworth said. “We’re just going to keep up our high work rate and I think we’ll be fine.”

Queen’s plays at Kingston Field tomorrow at 3 p.m against the Varsity Blues.

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