Live Feed: Women's Rugby National Championship

Follow along for coverage of the 2015 CIS Women's Rugby Championship

Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 

 

DAY 3

Gold Medal Game: McMaster 27, Queen's 3

McMaster head coach Shaun Allen

 

On winning the program's first national title:

It’s a huge reward for the players, all the work they’ve done this season. The staff, we’re so well supported by the athletic department, by the school, by the other athletes. It’s amazing, I’m incredibly proud right.

On beating Queen's despite losing against them on September 13:

 

Both teams were so different than they were in week one. We’ve gone through a transformative development phase in terms of the way that we play, we knew that Queen’s has done the same. They’ve got a very young team. It’s an exciting team over the next four years in the OUA and in the CIS. They’re much better than they were in September, we’re much better than we were in September. That was a hell of a battle. 

Bronze Medal Game: Ottawa 62, Concordia 7

 

Ottawa head coach Jennifer Boyd

On winning:

It was a tough loss yesterday, but I'm really happy with the leadership on the team this year. They performed really well last year.

On losing the bronze medal game last year:

We learned a lot last year, the team did a great job getting everyone rallied today.

Irene Patrinos, Gee-Gees fullback and Player of the Game

On winning:

It's very exciting. We didn't have the best game yesterday. Getting a medal is great, especially at the CIS championship. It's always a battle.

On finishing her CIS career with a win:

I'm just looking forward to other things. Having just finished my last year, just looking forward for other things to come.

On the program's future:

It's definitely a bright future. We had so many young girls come in, so many subs come in and it didn't change the game.
 

5th place Game: Victoria 27, Lethbridge 24

Lethbridge Pronghorns Coach Ric Suggitt

On today’s game:

What a great game of rugby. We pushed them right to the end, and I thought we had a opportunity to steal the game in the last minute there, but UVic played well. They have some good backs and a couple of good forwards, so all the credit to them today.

On the tournament as a whole:

I think worldwide it is a well run tournament, the services provided by Queen’s and the CIS is just fantastic all the way from the referees, to the volunteers, it was absolutely fantastic. I can’t say it enough.

Victoria Vikes Head Coach Brittany Waters

On winning the season with a win: 

After that first loss this game became our championship game and I’m proud of the fight they had today. 

On their tournament play:

The tournament was a bit inconsistent [for our players]. We had some great moments, some not so great moments, and that’s something we will focus on next year is to have consistent games back to back.

 

 

DAY 2

Semi-Final 1: McMaster 14, Ottawa 8 
Semi-Final 2: Queen's 27, Concordia 13 
Consolation 1: Lethbridge 20, St. FX 12 
Consolation 2: Victoria 55, Acadia 12 

 

Semi-Final 2: Queen's 27, Concordia 13

Queen’s Head Coach Beth Barz

On the team’s play today:

Huge, huge stand obvisouly. They finally found their identity in being really physical and really calm today. It’s really how we have to play every game.

On proving you belong here:

I think it proves the strength of the OUA conference for sure. We have one team that is really deserving that is not here in Guelph and we have an awesome rematch with McMaster from the beginning of the season. Realistically I know it is what they have been waiting for and the fact that it is on our field is something to look forward to. 

On closing out the season where it started:

When are we going to be able to do this again? We will take advantage of it when we can.

Outside Flanker Erin Geddes

On hosting the final at home:

Today we made history. This is the first time that Queen’s women’s rugby has ever been in the top two for the CIS and I think that we just need to kill it tomorrow. This is just so overwhelming, the crowd was insane all game, we just need to use that as an advantage tomorrow like we are down 5 points and just climb that mountain and beat Mac.

On the team’s effort: 

The effort didn’t stop. As soon as that first whistle went, we kept going. If anything it got even better throughout the game. We have a motto where we are never winning, we are always down 5 points because otherwise we get complacent and too comfortable and we have to keep just fighting and fighting to maintain those points on the board.

Blindeside Flanker Gill Pegg

On the overall game:

I think we came out extremely hard. I think when we got scored on at the very beginning we didn’t take it as a negative, where some teams can take it as a negative aspect. From that point on you can go up as a team or you can make that define the loss. We stayed calm but we were still feisty. When we attacked we attacked hard and smartly, so I think that led us to the success we had today.

On the team's defensive effort:

I have always been a firm believer that defence is what makes a winning team. Whenever you look at the World Cup or other games, it is the defensive team that always wins. It only takes one try to win a game, if someone cant break through the line than you win the game.

On being a fifth year playing her final game at home:

It would be amazing [to win]. Just going to the final is amazing on its own. Worrying too much about the outcome is what can cause a team to become nervous. Everyone is just excited to go out and have fun and just remember why they love rugby. However it comes out it comes out.

On a re-match with McMaster:

Its great playing Mac because we played them at the beginning of the year. It was our first home game and we beat them by one point. At that point we really didn’t know each other that well, and we have had a couple of months to work on our attack and our defence, so I think we are really excited to play them.

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Semi-Final 1: McMaster 14, Ottawa 8 

McMaster head coach Shaun Allen

On the game:

We knew it'd be a battle. The ability to tackle and perform under a huge amount of pressure was the difference in the game.

On the chance for a national championship:

It's a culmination of a lot of work, being in this game. There's one player on our team that didn't get a chance to play last year in the national championship game, Cindy Nelles, and the entire squad has worked incredibly hard to get to this point.

On a key second-half stop:

It's pride, obviously being able to hold them out as long as we did. That was some good rugby, some good runners, some good ball carriers that happened in there. We did a good job through that whole sequence, which seemed to last the entire second half.

On the low-scoring nature of the game:

The ability to put the other team under pressure has been massive all season long. It's cliche that defence wins championships, but if the other team can't score we're going to have a lot of success.

Ottawa head coach Jennifer Boyd

On the game:

For us, we had some opportunities we didn't capitalize on, hats off to McMaster.

On moving to the bronze medal game:

It'll be tough to get up for the bronze medal game, it's certainly not what we want to be playing for, but we'll get them fed and iced, and ready to go tomorrow.

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Consolation 2: Victoria 55, Acadia 12

Acadia head coach Matthew Durant

On losing two straight games:

I think the girls lost a lot of steam after that loss to Queen's. I thought we were ready today, but all the credit to UVic. 

On positives from the game:

We're at the national championship, that's a great thing for us. It's just another step along the way, we're going to build off this for next year.

Victoria head coach Brittany Waters

On the win:

Today's performance was great. It was a peformance we were looking for in the quarterfinal. Unfortunately it's a harsh setup with losing your first game being in the bottom four, but we came up firing. Looking for that fifth place is our next consolation prize. 

On Sunday's 5th place game:

It's going to be a good matchup. Lethbridge can play a very good game, just like today we know we have to meet them and battle them in the breakdown. We need to, just like today, fight. 

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Consolation 1: Lethbridge 20, St. FX 12

St. Francis Xavier Head Coach Mike Cavanagh

On today’s game:

Full credit to Lethbridge, they threw the ball around, when they had their chances they scored. I think we left some points on the field. At times we were our own worst enemy taking stupid penalty’s.

On the tournament and season overall:

It has been an up and down season for us overall, this tournament was well run, its still up for grabs between two or three good teams that have a shot at the gold, so we will need to work harder for next year.

Lethbridge Pronghorns Head Coach Ric Suggitt

On today’s game: 

The girls came out here today and demonstrated that they are an intelligent group and a courageous to stop St. Fx close to the goal-line. Defensively, this was our best performance of the year – we could have used it yesterday against McMaster, but we will take it today. We were able to turn those turnovers into some points, we beat a pretty good team today.

On the message to the team going forward: 

It's just to relax and enjoy yourself, as I always say it's just a game and the games are meant to have fun. That’s a bit of our philosophy – we will work really hard to win, but we are also here to enjoy ourselves.

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Day 1

Full recaps

QF1: Ottawa 29, St. FX 7

Ottawa Head Coach Jennifer Boyd

On scoring 22 unanswered points in the second half:
"Our fitness is really good. We're a second half team, and it showed today."

On the impact of substitution Chanelle Fortin:
"She was just a real energy [for the team]." 

On their semi-final berth:
"We're going to recover now and enjoy the win, but focus on whoever wins this next game." 

Ottawa Prop Simone Savary, Player of the Game


On the team's transformation in the second half:
"We turned the pace up. We wanted to play a high tempo game from the beginning, that wasn't happening in the first half but we really turned that around."

On Saturday's semi-final:
"We're going to stick to our gameplan. If we play to our potential, that's our biggest thing."

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QF2: McMaster 62, Lethbridge 14

McMaster 'Number 8' Cindy Nelles, Player of the Game

On the difference between Lethbridge and McMaster:

Our girls knew that we had to bring a fight and bring our best performance to make the next step towards that final game on Sunday. We really wanted it and really connected to come together as a team.

On the rest provided by going up early:

I think that is going to be immense, Rugby is a high impact game, putting a lot of strain on your body. The ability to get 35 minutes off is going to be huge in terms of recovery.

On team morale:

Rugby is all about peaking at the right time. We have definetly come together and have become stronger as a team as our season has progressed.

McMaster Head Coach Shaun Allen

On the difference today:

I think the main thing was the pace we were able to play at. When we got the ball quickly in and out of rucks we were able to use the space that was available to us and move the ball and attack.

On the total team effort:

I think our front row did a really good job today, they carried well, they scrummed pretty well, our line out was outstanding, throwing was accurate. We had solid platforms to attack off of. When we get that, we are going to be a difficult team to beat cause we get going forward pretty quickly.

On mixing around the line-up:

Getting an opportunity to replace our front row, get all six of our front row players quality minutes in the first game will be important as we go along. Last year we weren’t able to do it as much. We were in some really tight games, we needed some of those players to play heavy minutes and three games in four days is going to be difficult. We will see from benefit from that.

On impending semi-final rematch with Ottawa:

The first thing in getting ready is recovering adequately. Getting a good meal into them, getting them some rest and putting our medical staff to work. In terms of prep we watched Ottawa play earlier today and we saw some things. We know we are in for a battle, the team is coached by Jennifer Boyd – there always going to battle. We are going to get through all that prep tomorrow and give them a go.

On being undefeated since first loss of year:

We are a much different team now than we were September 13th – I have the date memorized. The development over the last couple of months has been massive, we had a couple of weeks to prep for that game and we were disappointed with the loss, we have used that to drive everything we have done this year. It was a disappointing start to our year, we do not want to repeat it.

On the team’s OUA playoff run:

We played some different teams there. We played Trent in the Quarterfinal and in the regular season, we were confident going into that one, putting up a pretty big score-line in that one. Playing Western next was a different game. They play with a much more open style that allowed us to play against a stronger backline than we are used to. It was a battle last week with Guelph, I think both of us are capable of playing at this level, its unfortunate about the schedule, would have been great to see them here, but it was a positive experience going through that and learning what we are as a group.

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QF3: Concordia 34, Victoria 12

Concordia head coach Graeme McGravie

On his forwards: They started to dominate, and get a little more confident in the scrum. We sort of found our rhythm.

On his team's quick response after Victoria's first try: We found our fire back right after they scored, and seemed to be okay after that

On the event as a whole: This is an awesome event Every female rugby athlete wants to be here. We’re just going to take it one day at a time.

On Saturday’s matchup:

We’re going to fix some things and we’re going to concentrate on going forward.   

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QF4: Queen's 24, Acadia 17 Final

Queen’s head coach Beth Barz

We certainly did not make it easy on ourselves. We have so many first years that had some nerves to start, a few drops and then we had opportunities for them to breakdown. It was really great having some excellent refereeing today, which gave us an opportunity to compete and play so big defense.

On what this win means:

It means we got to keep playing just like that.

Any similarities to the Mac game?

Again focus on the fundamentals which we did really well today. We dealt with the ball was and the breakdown right after the tackle. The post tackle was very important to us, we didn’t do that well the last two weeks, but a little more presence in the backline, McEwen did a great job communicating and directing the troops. Our forwards played their guts out, due credit, they picked the holes they needed to attack and they saw the weaknesses and went with them at 100 percent.

On team leaders Lauren McEwen and Gill Pegg:

Gilly, you can’t stop her. She probably made more tackles on her own than anybody else on the field today. Lauren McEwen made some big hits, espically when there were a couple of overlaps and they couldn’t move the ball as quickly as they could because she came from the outside in and totally blitzed them.

On how they get back into the game down 17-0:

They were just calm. It’s nice coming into a tournament being scored on, it makes a big difference. Acadia has been scored on a ton, and due credit to Acadia, they have worked their tails off prior to the breakdown as well, but once we dealt with the ball a little tighter and didn’t let it go wide it made a big difference for us.

On McEwen’s four penalty kicks:

I think it’s huge. Lauren has given her heart and soul to the team over 5 years and this year in particular she has absolutely grown as a leader and I couldn’t be more proud of her. The best kick was the final one on the try – she was three meters off the touchline. That’s hell of a kick in World Cup play, let alone at the university level, so the fact that she was able to step up and slot that in calmly  as she did is pretty big reward for all the work she has put in.

Queen’s centre, Player of the Game, Lauren McEwen

It means so much to the girls. We came into the game as kind of the underdogs, nobody really expected us to win especially against the number one seed, and I’m so proud of the girls today, our hard work won us this game. Every breakdown, every physical battle we tried to battle and we did. We came together. The first ten minutes were hard, but we pushed through and that’s such a testament to our character as a team. It really shows our colours and I’m just so proud of my girls today.

On being down early: 

We knew this game was going to be hard, we knew they were going to score, they are definitely a strong team. Their fullback was a strong player but we worked to shut them down. We just knew we had to be better and we really fought for those little details to be better. We were disciplined, we worked hard and we ran well. I’m just so proud.

Winning this at home means that much more for us and it’s that extra little support. These games and tournaments are just so hard and to have those little bits of support [from the hom ecrowd] to make you fight that little extra inch – that’s what wins us games.

On speaking to her teammates when losing:

I was telling them not to think of the score, just focus on the next phase. Think of the little details, because those are the ones that help you win. Have a cool head, keep calm and don’t worry about the outcome because if we work hard it will come. We really needed this, just because our confidence was dipping a little bit following our playoffs, we didn’t perform our best.

On thoughts during a kick:

 I have a little routine. I try to picture myself underwater. The feeling you get when you submerge your head under the water, rushing into your ears. I like to have that feeling and just pretend I’m alone on the field. I don’t look at the post after, I just focus on my contact through the ball.

Matthew Durant – Acadia Head Coach 

I was happy that we started with the first 17 points but all the credit to Queen's, they really beat us at our own game. Our game plan all season has been very high tempo, but they out-rucked us for the last three quarters of the game. They took advantage of every mistake we made and they kept the tempo high too.

We've still got a lot of rugby to play. The best we can do now is 5th, and that's going to be our goal.

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