White leads the way

Gaels force turnovers, turn defence into offense at Western

Bronwyn Corrigan has helped lead the Gaels to a 2-0 start.
Bronwyn Corrigan has helped lead the Gaels to a 2-0 start.

An impressive individual scoring effort led the women’s rugby team to victory for the second straight game.

Last Wednesday, Bronwyn Corrigan scored four tries in Queen’s 37-0 win over Brock. Forward Taylor White matched that output on Sunday at Western, tallying 20 of the Gaels’ points in a 31-17 win.

Most of Queen’s scoring punch through the first two games has come from its experienced forward line. Head coach Beth Barz said the team has revamped their offensive attack this season, emphasizing speed across all positions on the field.

“[Western’s] game plan was to move us across the field as much as they could — to out-fit us,” Barz said. “Our fitness has been quite good, so that hasn’t been an issue.”

White scored two tries in the game’s first 12 minutes, capitalizing on a pair of turnovers forced by the Gaels’ stringent defence.

Queen’s team speed was apparent on White’s final try — a 70-metre sprint to the end zone, which capped off the scoring.

Rookie centre Nadia Popov was the only other Gael to score against Western, adding a first-half try and kicking three conversions. Popov also scored a try in the season opener against Brock.

“When we recruited [Popov], we knew that she was going to be an impact player for us right from the get go,” Barz said. “She’s just starting to get comfortable with the people around her, and I would think she’s got a pretty bright future ahead.”

Popov’s output has helped alleviate the loss of third-year centre Mel Judges, who sustained an ankle injury on Wednesday. Barz said that Judges is expected to make a full recovery, though she isn’t expected back in the lineup for the rest of the season.

“We’re pretty deep,” Barz said. “We definitely have a couple players that can step up and fill a void, without really missing a beat.”

Queen’s sits atop the OUA East Division at 2-0, having defeated both OUA West opponents they will face this season. The Gaels kick-off divisional play on Sept.

15 against Toronto, with a 1 p.m. kickoff at Nixon Field.

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