Gee-Gees move on to nationals, look to improve on last year’s third-place finish

After beating the Montreal Carabins 26–5 on Oct. 22 in the Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec (RSEQ) semi-final, the Gee-Gees defeated the Concordia Stingers 29–19 in the conference final on Oct. 28. This is the third straight year the Gee-Gees have taken home the RSEQ title.

It was not always easy for the Gees this season. Despite going undefeated, the team had a lot of young players, especially on the back line, who needed to learn and develop on the fly.

Head coach Jen Boyd has succeeded in incorporating the new players into the lineup and putting her team in a position to thrive this season, elements that came together for this thrilling final match-up.

“Everything just clicked tonight,” said Boyd in an interview with Sports Services.

“Concordia is really, really physical, and we just kept the pressure on. I haven’t seen us play like that this year. Our backs did such a great job—it’s incredible.”

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It was a hard-fought battle, but the Gee-Gees prevailed, proving why they’re the best team in their conference and perhaps the nation.

Fifth-year front row player Simone Savary had two tries in the victory, with Danarae Sommerville and Alex Ellis each getting one try apiece.

From Nov. 3 to 6 both Ottawa and Concordia will be among seven teams competing at the U Sports (formerly CIS) women’s rugby national championship in Victoria, B.C.

After finishing fourth and third in the tournament in 2014 and 2015 respectively, the Gees will be aiming for gold this year.     

Currently, the team looks to be playing their best rugby of their season. Competing in the RSEQ they’ve had the benefit of playing seven regular season games, on top of exhibition match-ups and playoffs, meaning that they likely have the most in-game experience of any team.

Their biggest challenge at the tournament will likely come from Ontario champion Guelph and reigning national champion McMaster, both of whom had a perfect 5–0 record on the year and met in their conference final.Last season McMaster dealt the U of O their fatal blow in the semifinals at nationals, and the Gees will welcome facing them in hopes of exacting revenge.

The team enters the tournament hosted by the University of Victoria ranked second and by means of an unlucky draw, will play the defending champion Marauders in the first round of action on Nov. 3 at 5 p.m. (2 p.m. PDT).

Live coverage will be available on Twitter @uOttawaGeeGees and broadcast information is to be announced.

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Photos: Remi Yuan.