Gaels blow Trent out of the water in a rainy 71-5 match

Women's rugby impressive win features new talent

The Gaels started the season undefeated with their 71-5 win against Trent.
The Gaels started the season undefeated with their 71-5 win against Trent.

Nothing could stop the women’s rugby team, not even the tornado warning on Saturday, as they rolled over the Trent Excalibur 71-5 in their first home game of the season on Nixon Field.

The Gaels were dominant from the first whistle of the match, spending most of the half in the Excalibur’s end, with the ball in their possession. 

Making a return to the team this season after a stint with Canada sevens, Nadia Popov opened the scoring with the first two tries of the game. During her time with the Gaels in 2012, Popov was named the OUA Rookie of
the Year.

The Gaels kept Popov’s momentum going through the first half with three additional tries scored by Molly Labenski, Jordi Di Nardo and Kendyl Wilson and a pair of successful conversion kicks by team captain Erin Geddes despite the wind and rain.

As the Gaels took the field for the second half, a few fresh faces were among the lineup with a mix of rookies and other younger players.

After the game, Geddes explained that the introduction of younger players into gameplay throughout the season is important for the team’s overall success.

“I think we have a lot of depth in our team and we really need to capitalize on that this year” she said.

“Last year we had a lot of depth but we didn’t necessarily do the subs that we needed to do throughout the season and that’s why when it came down to the last game of the season at CIS we were burnt out.”

Early in the second half, the Excalibur managed to get on the board with a try but were unsuccessful in their extra point conversion attempt, making the score 36-5.  

McKinley Hunt tacked on a pair of tries while Lauren Cranfield and Abby Refausse picked up a try each. Geddes successfully converted eight of 11 attempts throughout the game, earning 16 points overall.

“It feels amazing,” Geddes said about the team’s overall dominance in the blowout. “I think it’s a huge confidence booster. One thing we really wanted to do today was make a statement.”

“We came really close to being the top team in the country last year so our goal this year is to get back to that point, and that starts with each OUA game.”

Looking forward to next week’s match versus the University of Toronto, Geddes is eager to see what the competition will look like.

“I think they’re going to bring a really big fight. I’m really excited to play them” she said.

“We’ve had success with them in the past, with coming out on top, but they always bring a really big fight every time we go down to see them so I’m very interested to see how the game turns out.”

The Gaels will face U of T’s Varsity Blues in Toronto on Friday, Sept. 16.

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