Women’s rugby off to nationals

The Gaels defeat the Waterloo Warriors at home to make the OUA Finals for the first time since 1995

The women’s rugby team celebrates their 15-8 win over the Waterloo Warriors in Kingston.
The women’s rugby team celebrates their 15-8 win over the Waterloo Warriors in Kingston.

The women’s rugby team defeated the Waterloo Warriors 15-8 at Kingston Field on Saturday to reach their first OUA finals since 1995. Queen’s also automatically earns a berth to the CIS Championship for the first time in the team’s history.

The close match saw the Gaels hold on to their 10-8 lead until late in the game. Fullback Karlye Wong and Ashley Ward both scored a try and centre/winger Annika Rinas added five points on a conversion and a penalty kick.

Centre/winger Samantha Trinier said the team started the OUA semi-final game slowly and was affected by offensive mistakes.

“We haven’t quite reached our full potential yet,” she said. “We definitely picked it up in the second half, played a lot better and a lot cleaner rugby ... It was just a matter of patience and waiting for the opportunities to score and we definitely got those in the second half.”

The Gaels’ success this season has been due in part to a new found sense of perseverance. With an undefeated season and wins overboth Waterloo and the University of Toronto Varsity Blues in the playoffs, fullback Jocelyn Poirier said the Gaels’ approach to their games has changed.

“The skill level has improved but there’s just a different mindset this year in focusing on our game and what we’re going to do,” she said. “We’ve used the term ‘control the controllable’.”

Poirier said the Guelph Gryphons offer no exceptional challenge.

“They’re just another team,” she said. “We hadn’t played Waterloo before either. We’re going to try and work our defence [which] has been strong all season. They haven’t really had to face a strong defence yet. So we’re going to really try and shut them down that way, get in their heads.”

The team’s confidence this year has been the difference in many games. Fly-half/winger Andrea Wadsworth said the team’s confidence has improved as the team became more comfortable on the field and with each other.

“We were down at the beginning but everyone stayed pretty calm and knew we were going to come back. [We] didn’t know when, but we knew we were going to come back eventually,” she said.

The Gaels’ hard work has been years in the making for the women’s rugby program and Wadsworth said the importance of the moment is not lost on the team.

“We’re all definitely excited to be a part of such a milestone season for the Queen’s women’s rugby program,” she said. “We’re definitely looking forward to it. We know we’re a bit of the underdog in the finals. We know we can definitely bring it to Guelph.”

The Gaels’ automatic berth to the CIS Championship will take them to Peterborough from Nov. 4–7.

The Queen’s Gaels will play in the OUA Championship this Saturday against the Guelph Gryphons. The game starts at noon at Kingston Field.

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