Queen’s takes OUA silver

The women’s rugby team loses to Guelph in OUA finals

The OUA Finals for women’s rugby took place at Kingston Field Saturday. The Gaels won silver after being defeated by the Guelph Gryphons 54-5. Queen’s advances to the CIS championship.
The OUA Finals for women’s rugby took place at Kingston Field Saturday. The Gaels won silver after being defeated by the Guelph Gryphons 54-5. Queen’s advances to the CIS championship.

The Queen’s Gaels came up short in the OUA women’s rugby final Saturday. In their game on Kingston Field, the Gaels fell to the Guelph Gryphons by a score of 54-5. The heavily favoured Gryphons showed why they conceded only seven points all season by playing a very strong game from start to finish.

While Queen’s showed plenty of heart, the extremely talented Guelph side was able to jump out to a 12-0 lead early on and didn’t let up until the final whistle. At one point in the second half, Queen’s showed that Guelph does, in fact, have some holes in their defence when eight-man Ash Ward grabbed the ball and dove across the tryline.

While Queen’s didn’t win the ultimate prize, both coaches and players were quick to emphasize their strong performance against a very talented opponent.

Head coach Beth Barz praised the team’s effort.

“I think there were times when we played great defence and there were times when we made good
decisions on attack,” she said. “On the flip side of that, there were also times when defence didn’t go as well as it should and we made some pretty boneheaded decisions in terms of us our tactical decision-making.”

Barz was equally enthusiastic about the result. This was the Gaels’ first appearance in the OUA Finals since 1995.

“This is what we’ve being aiming for all year … I think a lot of times people say you lose the gold but I think we won a silver today,” she said.

Centre Karlye Wong stressed her team’s willingness and determination.

“I thought we worked really hard on defence,” she said. “They were a lot faster team than we’ve
experienced this season but we were able to adapt well … these guys have had seven points scored against them all year, so to prove that we could score on them showed a lot of character.”

Flanker Jocelyn Poirier echoed Wong’s sentiments with regards to the Gaels’ strong work ethic.

“I think one of our goals was to play every minute, and I think we did that,” she said. “We never let up, we played hard all the way to the end, so I think we can come out with our heads held high.”

Although Queen’s was unable to stop Guelph from securing their third straight OUA title, the Gaels making it to the finals was a big moment for the women’s rugby program. Along with their second OUA silver medal, the Gaels earned a spot in the CIS Championships which is being hosted by Trent University next weekend. This will be the first time in the history of the women’s rugby program that the Gaels have reached the national championship.

The result shows a commitment to winning from the coaching staff, raises the bar for expectations next season and raises the profile for Queen’s women’s rugby, which Poirier stressed.

“It’s huge,” she said. “This is history being made for Queen’s so we’re really proud.”

Poirier, Wong, and Ward along with centre Andrea Wadsworth, and scrum half Susan Heald were
named Russell Division All-Stars after the game. Both Queen’s and Guelph move on to the CIS Championships next week at Trent University.

The Gaels will be in Peterborough next weekend for the CIS championship.

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