This past Saturday, the Queen’s Gaels destroyed the Brock Badgers 64-0 in their first regular season game at Nixon Field since winning the national championship there last year.
Prior to this game, Queen’s ranked 1st in the U Sports Top 10 ranking and was determined to defend this title. The stands were filled as the game began, and within the first five minutes, the fans were up and roaring.
Mya Brubacher started the game off strong with a swift break of the Badger defense, putting the Gaels on the board. From there, Brock struggled to move the ball out of their end. They attempted to clear the ball by kicking it, hoping to give their defense a chance to recover, but the Gaels were merciless and continued to push onward.
Maggie Banks and Siobhan Sheerin were an unstoppable pairing; every Brock player who approached their defense was flattened in seconds. Where Gael offensive attacks progressed by foot quite easily, no Brock player that got a hand on the ball made any progress.
As the game went on, the Gaels continued to reel in the tries, their teamwork making them unstoppable. Players rarely tried to run it on their own; instead, they would catch and peek, looking for a lateral pass to force the Brock defense to adjust and recover.
Rookie Maddy Donnelly racked up the most tries with a total of three over the course of the game. She will be one to watch in the games to come.
Throughout the game, Queen’s proved it can turn any moment into a scoring opportunity.
Brock couldn’t stop the Gaels’ pressure and success in the scrums. Even when faced with an offensive attack from the Badgers near the end of the first half, the Gaels easily turned it around by securing the ball and executing a fast break, flashing their speed to secure another try.
Queen’s kicks were consistent as well. Lizzie Gibson tallied a total of seven successful converts over the course of the game.
The Gaels provided an incredible win for the first home game of the season because they were consistent, determined, and matched their fans’ electric energy. The pressure from Queen’s 2021 National Champion title rests in the back of everyone’s minds, but Head Coach Dan Valley is unphased.
“We’ve got a very strong sense of what we are capable of achieving and what we need to do; what we’ve needed to do since the final whistle went in that gold medal match until day one of training camp, and how we’ve needed to prepare,” he said in a press release.
“We enjoyed it, we celebrated it, and then we did a really nice job of closing that chapter of the story and starting the next one.”
Queen’s Women’s Rugby will host its rivals, the Western Mustangs, next week on Sept. 17 at 4 p.m. As of now, the Gaels maintain their 1st place rank in the U Sports Top 10.
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