Women’s rugby dominates on the road

Gaels shut out Trent to stay undefeated

Emma Chown (left) has been a key player early-on for the Gaels this season.
Emma Chown (left) has been a key player early-on for the Gaels this season.

In their first game on the road this year, the women’s rugby team reminded everyone why they’re one of the top teams in the country.

The Gaels (2-0) had no problem getting past the Trent Excalibur (0-2) this weekend as they shut them out 54-0.

Centre Lauren McEwen credited the dominant performance to the Gaels ability to stick to their game plan.

“The heart of our team is in our defense — that is very important to us,” McEwen said. “It doesn’t matter if we beat someone by 10 points or 80, defense is what matters to our team.”

The Gaels controlled the game from the get go, as centre Lauren Cranfield put the first try of the day on the board within the first minute of the game. After a successful conversion from Erin Geddes, Queen’s was up 7-0, and didn’t look back.

Emma Chown and Miranda Seifert each scored tries within the next few plays, leaving the Gaels up 19-0 only nine minutes into the action.

While the scoring slowed down in the rest of the half, Chown’s addition of another first-half try, and two successful kicks from Geddes (one from a penalty and one from a conversion) saw the Gaels up 29-0 at the half.

For McEwen, Chown has been one of the key players for the Gaels’ early success.

“Emma Chown is one of the most underrated players right now in the OUA and at the CIS level,” McEwen said.

“She is just such a delight to play with and she always keeps me humble. I always see her working that extra bit — she definitely has a bright future in rugby.”

In the second-half, the Gaels began to change around the line-up, resting many key players. Hannah Greenwood, Katie Garland, Hannah Bradshaw and Leigha Stiles all scored tries of their own, resulting in a 54-0 final.

By the end of the game, the Gaels had 10 first-year players on the field. For McEwen, this kind of experience is crucial for first years.

“It was an amazing opportunity,” she said. “They really stepped up.”

Earlier this week the Gaels were ranked second in the CIS, tying their highest position in team history.

Even though that`s a high ranking, McEwen said the team has tried not to pay attention to it.

 “We definitely know we have a target on our backs now, but we are just playing it game by game,” McEwen said. “It doesn’t matter if we are playing McMaster, or if we are playing Trent or U of T — we play our game.”

McEwen pointed out that the team was also ranked second last year, and let it get in the way of their focus. This resulted in the team finishing short of their goals, coming fourth in the OUA. This time around, they don’t want it to get to their heads.

Looking forward to playing U of T next weekend, McEwen knows that defense will play a factor once more.

“We are just going to make sure that we play our own game. Make sure that we focus on our defensive structure. The attack will happen, but without our defense — that is where the heart of our team is.”

The Gaels are in action next against the University of Toronto on Nixon Field at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 26.

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