For all the chips

Gaels enter their first OUA title game with confidence

The mantra for the women’s rugby team this season has been to ‘control the controllable’. Gaels scrum-half Susan Heald said they need to remain focused on that mantra going into the OUA finals against the Guelph Gryphons this weekend.

“We’re just going to go out and play our game,” she said. “We’re going to take the opportunities we get and keep doing what we’re doing on defence. We’re right where we want to be.”

Heald said the Gaels have prepared physically and they now have to work on their mental game.

“We just need to get into the right mindset,” she said. “I think there’s a good balance right now between nervousness and excitement so as long as we maintain that and don’t get caught up in the whole this is the final game, this is it like we have to do it [attitude]. I think we just need to stay calm and do what we do, just like every other game.”

This is the first time since 1995 that the Gaels have made the OUA finals and the first time in team history that they have earned a berth to the CIS Championship.

Coach Barz said the undefeated season is a special achievement but that the playoffs offer a new challenge.

“We’ve taken it one step at a time,” she said. “It’s nice to look back and see what we’ve been able to accomplish through the regular season and moving into the second season. Really what it boils down to is that it really doesn’t matter what we’ve done. We could be coming in with a losing record and facing a team with a winning record, we still have to perform.”

Queen’s has been confident in their defensive play all season, crediting many of their wins to their strong defensive effort.

“Our defence creates opportunities for our attacks,” she said. “We have a pretty varied attack that we can move the ball where we want to, dependant on who’s on and where the space is. We have really cultivated the opportunities for athletes to create for themselves and see if there’s space to exploit it.”

The Gaels will face the Guelph Gryphons on Saturday at Kingston Field. The game starts at noon.

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