Gaiters prove too strong for men’s team, women’s team move up to 2-0
It was a frosty afternoon on Sept. 8 at Matt Anthony Field for the Gee-Gees men’s rugby team’s first-ever varsity game.
Supported by a thunderous crowd, the Gees scored their first try, but were overwhelmed by the heavily-favoured Bishop Gaiters 29-12.
Despite the loss, the men in Garnet and Grey managed to put on an entertaining, show sending the faithful home happy and looking forward to their next match.
A tight first half
After Ryan Surgenor scored the Gee-Gees’ first ever varsity try in Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec (RSEQ) competition, they failed the conversion and took a slim 5-0 lead to start the match.
That lead would be short-lived, as the Gaiter’s Tyler Murphy would score on their next possession and convert the kick, taking a 7-5 lead.
Nevertheless, most of the half would be spent in the Gaiters’ zone as the Gee-Gees failed time and time again to convert on some good opportunities to reach the key.
An experienced and hardened Gaiters team would take advantage of Ottawa’s weak ground game to pull out on top at the end of the half holding on to their 7-5 lead.
Overpowered in the second half
It was a seemingly tired Gee-Gees team that took the field to start the second half, and the Gaiters smelled blood—scoring early and often.
The half started off with the Gaiters’ Murphy pressuring the Gee-Gees, quickly scoring a try and converting to take a 14-5 lead.
The Gee-Gees then fumbled the ball on a drive resulting in Gaiters scrum half Josh Bray left running alone to the Gee-Gees key scoring the try. The man in purple then added two tries and took a commanding 29-5 lead.
The Gee-Gees scored a try and realised their first conversion with two minutes left, thanks to a team effort.
Brandan King scored the try but it would be too little late, as the Gaiters would take this one 29-12.
In her post-game comments, Gee-Gees head coach Stephanie Crawley expressed the need to fix some things before the next match in Montreal.
“One-on-one tackles will be a big focus. We lost too many one-on-one battles today, we will also be concentrating on our ground game,” she said.
As for her players, they took a bit more of a positive attitude to their post-game comments. Gee-Gees freshman Will Redgate said he was pleased with the overall game.
“I’m happy from what I saw on the field, this was my first game at (the U of O) and I’m happy to see that the students are interested in rugby and come out to cheer us on,” Redgate said.
Redgate added that his team “still needs to work on lots though to compete with teams in this league.”
Veteran Gee-Gees rugby player James Flemming, who played on the team when it was a competitive club, said he was “proud of the boys, and the support from the students (they) got was great.”
Gee-Gees women’s squad keep on rolling versus Sherbrooke
The defending U Sport women’s rugby champ Gee-Gees took on the University of Sherbrooke’s Vert et Or also on Sept. 9, edging out a 43-17 win in a wild affair at U of S field.
In the win, Samantha Ali and Maya Montiel scored two tries each.
Taylor Donato, Michaela Haley, and Alexandra Ondo both scored one try each and Orleans native Emily Gray converted four times.
The look ahead
On the men’s side, the Gee-Gees will take on the University of Montreal Carabins in its next home match on Sept. 23, 4 p.m. at Matt Anthony Field.
On the women’s side the Gees will take on the Carabins at Matt Anthony on Sept. 15 at 4 p.m. Grab tickets to both games here.