Gaels drop key matchup to OUA East rivals

Women’s rugby edged out 21-20 by Marauders

Women’s rugby lost a nail-biter in their most important match of the regular season.

Facing the McMaster Marauders (2-0) on the road, the Gaels (1-1) fell just short, losing 21-20. The loss could prove costly for Queen’s, as their annual match with the Marauders has determined OUA Russell (East) Division supremacy the last four seasons.

The Gaels and Marauders went back and forth throughout the game. Though the score wasn’t what the Gaels wanted, head coach Beth Barz was pleased with the effort the women put forth.

“Our entire forward pack was all over the place. Additionally, [back] Lauren McEwen and our centres had many scoring opportunities during the game,” Barz said. “They were also able to make some big tackles.”

The Gaels started the game strong with a penalty kick from McEwen, giving them a 3-0 lead early in the first half.

McMaster responded quickly with a try, turning the score around. Shortly after, the Marauders scored again, increasing their lead to 14-3.

With a strong performance from the Gaels’ forwards, Queen’s scored a penalty try, followed by a successful kick by McEwen. At the end of the first half, the Gaels trailed 14-10.

In the second half, a hard-fought drive by Queen’s paid off, letting the Gaels take the lead with a try by third-year centre back Miranda Seifert. However, a hard angle on the kick resulted with it flying just wide.

Once again, the Marauders followed up with a try of their own, retaking the lead.

Seifert added another try in the final minutes of the game, but a potentially game-winning conversion sailed wide, as the Gaels fell 21-20.

Barz said the Gaels aren’t going to let this result impact them moving forward, adding that the team’s practices will remain the same.

“[They’ll be] no different than what we normally do. Talk about the things that need to be fixed on Tuesday, followed by some fitness on Wednesday,” she said. “We will make sure that we are connecting on all our set plays. We will just keep moving forward and do what we need to in order to be ready for our game against Toronto next week.”

The Gaels have been beset by injuries so far this season, with fifth-year prop Claragh Pegg making her return to the lineup after dealing with a neck injury. Fly-half Danielle Underwood is still out, recovering from a knee injury suffered last season.

Barz is hopeful any injured players will be back in action next weekend.

Queen’s next heads to Toronto to face the Varsity Blues on Saturday. Last year, the Gaels rolled to a 38-0 win over Toronto.

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