The Gee-Gees played Laval for the bronze medal, defeating them 20-19. Photo: Parker Townes.
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U of O narrowly beaten in women’s rugby nationals versus Guelph

U Sports now has a new women’s rugby champion.

The University of Ottawa Gee-Gees, ranked first in the nation and heavily favoured to repeat their national championship run in 2017, were upset in the semifinal round versus the Guelph Gryphons on Nov. 2,  by a score of 15-12.

The game was a nailbiter in tough, wet conditions at Acadia University, with the Gee-Gees managing to get on the board first following a try from Emily Gray, who led the team in scoring throughout the season between her try efforts and kicking conversions.

From there on out though, it was the Gryphons who would take over, scoring three consecutive tries, at one point taking a stunning 15-5 lead over the powerful team from the nation’s capital.

The U of O were hard-pressed to gain significant ground all night, similar to their previous quarterfinal match-up over the Acadia Axemen, another game where they were heavily favoured and barely squeaked out the win, 26-24 the previous day.

The Gees would put another try on the board to keep them in the game after Gray converted again in the 59th minute, but they could not keep the momentum up.

They were able to get some consolation on Nov. 4 when they defeated the Laval Rouge et Or by yet another close margin, 20-19, in the bronze medal game. Laval was another team with an upsetting semifinal performance after being beaten by the StFX X-Women.

The Gees had Laval’s number throughout 2018, defeating them once in regular season play and once to claim that RSEQ crown.

This time however, the U of O was playing without the home field advantage, where they bested the Rouge at Or the last two times. Nevertheless, they were able to end their season with the 20-19 win and kept hopes up for 2019,