Late rally leads to single-point victory

Emma Chown’s try a turning point in conquering defending champs 

Emma Chown (left) contributed offensively and defensively for the Gaels.
Emma Chown (left) contributed offensively and defensively for the Gaels.
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Though it wasn’t an easy victory, women’s rugby had an emphatic 15-14 win over the defending OUA champion McMaster Marauders this past Sunday.

Down 14-3 in the second frame, Gaels winger Emma Chown easily had the highlight of the day, as she ran over 100 metres for a try following her interception of a McMaster pass.

After positioning herself between two Marauders, and carefully timing her pickoff of their play, Chown ran untouched to the end zone.

“I just saw there was only one wing out on the left side,” Chown said of her near-perfect timing. “I could tell the girl on the inside of her was going to pass to her, so I kind of just went for it.”

While running down the field, Chown had a steady distance of about five yards between the nearest McMaster defender, but was at a full sprint all the way to the end zone.

“I was just thinking, I better make it to the end, this is it,” she said. “This is a chance to score. We were down … we really needed a try.”

In the game’s final moments, down 14-10, the Gaels spent what seemed like an eternity controlling the play deep into McMaster territory, with a two player advantage due to two Marauder fouls.

After some team passing plays, Gaels winger Hannah Van Luven received the ball near the sideline and punched it in through an opening for the eventual winning try. 

“I was just calling for it, calling for it, but really it came from the team,” Van Luven said. “We were strong on defence the whole game, and able to push through and find those gaps, the ball just happened to get out to me.”

“It was a proud moment to be a Gael,” she said. 

Gaels centre and captain Lauren McEwen had a try called back in the first half, but scored on a penalty kick for the Gaels first three points while adding a convert as well.

The victory was likely the most anticipated matchup of the year due to the history between the two sides.

“It was a big moment as a team [to get the win], because last year they beat us in a tight loss,” Van Luven said.

McMaster’s 21-20 win over Queen’s last season was the team’s only regular season defeat.

The Gaels take to the road this week to play Trent on Saturday at 11 a.m. For now though, a victory over a bitter rival provided for a cause for celebration among the team’s players.

“We really came out today wearing the Q on our chests with pride, we knew it was going to take a hard defensive game,” Van Luven said. “We were able to push and pull through in the end.”

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