Early shock at St.FX

Gaels suffer round-robin defeat to no.1 X-Women

Both Queen’s and Guelph advanced to the CIS championship.
Both Queen’s and Guelph advanced to the CIS championship.

The No. 1 St. Francis Xavier X-Women lived up to their hype, defeating the Queen’s Gaels 53-10 in the CIS Women’s Rugby Championship opener.

For a Gaels squad coming off a near-upset of powerhouse Guelph, yesterday’s blowout was unexpected.

“[The game] was pretty ugly — it was a bit of a mulligan from our end,” said Gaels head coach Beth Barz. “We had a hard time going forward into tackles — we weren’t doing anything well that we are normally quite strong at,” she said.

“The game in general was certainly not how we envisioned.”

St. FX ran through and around the Gaels to take a 24-3 lead into halftime. The Gaels scored their only points of the half on a 25-yard penalty goal conversion from lock Bronwyn Corrigan.

The X-Women continued the second half where they left off, scoring five straight tries before the Gaels could muster any counterattack.

Queen’s did themselves no favours offensively, committing multiple knock-ons and dropping many catchable passes.

“When you work hard to gain possession, then give it back immediately … you’re always going to give the other team the advantage,” Barz said.

Queen’s gained a moral victory when prop Claragh Pegg rumbled into the end zone for a late try. It was the first try St. FX conceded in 2012.

The Gaels now face a must-win game against the Quebec champion Concordia Stingers today.

If they win, they’ll likely play in the bronze-medal match on Sunday, while a loss would slot them in the fifth-place match.

Barz knows that with the national’s jitters out of the way, her team can focus on the challenge ahead.

“We need to regroup and go back to the things we do well and do them well.”

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