No. 1 Women’s rugby asserts dominance in exhibition win over national champs
Photo: Marta Kierkus
On Oct. 9 the University of Ottawa women’s rugby team faced St. Francis Xavier University (StFX) in an exhibition match at Matt Anthony Field. In an incredible battle, the Gees pulled off a stunning comeback in the second half to beat the X-Women 24-19.
The StFX rugby team has four national championships to their name, the most recent coming last year. The match was a timely test for the two national powerhouses during their weeklong break from regular season action.
The sixth-ranked X-Women started sluggish, but clawed their way to a formidable 12-5 lead at the half, thanks in part to a mixture of tough tackling, quick tempo passing, and accurate kicking in adverse weather conditions.
Nevertheless, the seemingly indomitable Gees stormed back into the contest at the start of the second half with a try from Danielle Erdelyi due to a superb catch by Patricia Mandon. The X-Women quickly responded with a try of their own and threatened to continue the scoring throughout the second half, but the Gees’ sturdy defence stood strong, forcing several key interceptions and steals.
A burst in offence resulted in two more tries, confirming a hard-fought victory against their potential national championship contenders.
Although it was just an exhibition game, both teams looked to gain a psychological edge going into the playoffs during the high-tempo match.
The top-ranked and undefeated Gees look to finish off their perfect season in their next game against McGill.
The Gees’ final match begins at 3 p.m. on Oct. 18 at Matt Anthony Field.