women's rugby
The women's rugby team will look for redemption at the nationals next week. Photo: Hailey Otten/Fulcrum
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Gee-Gees looked to snap their losing streak against Laval in order to win seventh consecutive RSEQ title

At this point, the Gee-Gees matching up against the Rouge et Or just feels like a regular part of rugby post-season. 

For the fourth consecutive year, the University of Ottawa women’s rugby team battled it out against Laval for the Réseau du Sport Étudiant du Québec (RSEQ) championship. 

The Gees had fallen to Laval twice during the 2021 season, with close scores of 8-7 and 17-10 respectively.

These games marked the Gee-Gees only losses throughout the regular season. Laval on the other hand, went 6-0, proving why they are the reigning U Sports champions. While it may be Laval who most recently won a national title, it is the U of O who was gunning for their seventh consecutive RSEQ title. 

Matt Anthony Field hosted the RSEQ semi-final game against Montreal, where the Gees walked away with a 37-7 win. On the other side of the bracket, the Rouge et Or had their way with the Carleton Ravens, defeating them 29-9. 

For the 2021 edition of the RSEQ finals, the Gee-Gees travelled to Quebec City on Friday Nov. 5 for the evening game. 

Between the fact that this was the first RSEQ championship since 2019, the heated rivalry, and the handfuls of RSEQ All-Stars on both sides of the field, there was no doubt this would be a wild game. 

As usual, Laval came out hard. As strong as the Gee-Gees defence is, the Rouge et Or were able to power through, a pass to the player on the sideline allowed for enough space for a Laval player to slip through and find the endzone for the first try of the game. 

The convert was good, giving Laval a 7-0 lead to start the game. 

The Gees didn’t let the home team expand their lead, opting for three points with a Claire Gallagher kick. 

Laval continued to be efficient with their passes on offence and moved the ball up the field quickly. Once in range, the team put up a field goal of their own to return to a seven point lead over the Gee-Gees. 

With 10-3 on the scoreboard, there was still plenty of time to work with. 

The Gees started to put more pressure on Laval, getting the ball into the hands of players like Alexandra Ondo and Madison Grant during a strong possession. The Gees spent a lot of time in the red zone, patiently waiting for the opportunity to score. 

Unfortunately, time ran out before the Gee-Gees could get it across the goaline. 

The second half did not offer many opportunities for the Garnet and Gray. Laval took complete control of the field, capitalizing on every single opportunity given to them. 

The Gee-Gees were down 27-3 and nearing the end of playtime. 

The U of O was not ready to quit, and an offensive push allowed Ondo to contribute the first try for the Gee-Gees. Gallagher’s kick was good, making it 27-10 in favour of Laval. 

A glimmer of hope came in the form of another incredible run through the Laval defence by Ondo, breaking the last defender and diving into the endzone.  Unfortunately, there just was not enough time for the U of O to come back. 

The Gees took too long to fight, and fell 27-17. 

A perfect record against the Gee-Gees in the 2021 season, and a dominant performance in the finals, means Laval broke the U of O’s RSEQ championship win streak. 

The season is not over for the Gees though, as they have still qualified for the U Sports National Championship in Kingston. The tournament will take place Nov. 10-14 at Queen’s University.