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Gees post largest margin of victory in two years over Vert et Or

Photo: Marta Kierkus

The Gee-Gees women’s rugby team won a conference championship last season en route to a somewhat disappointing fourth-place finish at nationals. The disappointment fueled a hunger for a better result—and the team’s first test came against the Sherbrooke Vert et Or on Monday.

With a powerful lineup of experienced players, the Gee-Gees took the visitors to the woodshed, claiming an impressive 87-0 victory over their first competitor in the Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec (RSEQ) season.

The stat sheet was packed for the Garnet and Grey after they peppered the struggling Sherbrooke from the opening whistle. The Vert et Or came into the match with a 1-0 record after a win over the Bishop’s Gaiters, a team that hasn’t won a game since October 2009.

Fourth-year prop Simone Savary. got the Gee-Gees started with a try in early goings, and her teammates would continue the onslaught until halftime. Third-year centre Dria Bennett was a difference maker for the Gees, as she broke off a massive run for a try that electrified the faithful at Matt Anthony Field.

Perhaps the most special scoring moment was for flanker Stéphanie Mercier as she ran in her first career try in her fifth year of eligibility.

For the previous four years Mercier suited up for the Gee-Gees women’s hockey team, but when her school schedule became too much to handle for hockey she decided to try her hand at rugby.

“It’s good being in a different atmosphere and learning new things,” said Mercier, who stepped onto the pitch for the first time ever three months ago. “It was a good play, my two forwards were there in front of me and they saw the offload. They were great and got it with me.”

Despite the resounding win, Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) Coach of the Year Jennifer Boyd is not fazed by the margin of victory.

“The score is irrelevant to us,” said Boyd. “We’re glad we have a W, and it was nice to keep them off the scoreboard but we have to be a lot better against Laval next week.”

“It’s nice to score 87 but it gives us a false sense of what we’re doing because we are not an 87-point team yet.”

Taking nothing for granted will be a teaching point for Boyd and the coaching staff going forward. This lesson could be the game-changer, as the Gee-Gees closed a perfect season last year, with two crucial losses to McMaster and Western in the national semifinal and bronze medal game.

“We finished fourth, that wasn’t good enough. There should be an expectation and they should want to finish first. It’s definitely what our focus is, but again it’s a long road and we have two months to get there.”

The Gee-Gees will travel to Québec City on Sept. 12 to take on the Laval Rouge et Or at 3 p.m. in a clash of the two top teams in the RSEQ.