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Thrilling, but rocky game for the Gee-Gees

Photo courtesy of Remi Yuan

The University of Ottawa’s women’s rugby team came together late to beat the visiting Laval Rouge et Or on Sept. 7 with a score of 15-14.

It was a hard-fought match between the two teams. Each squad took turns controlling the pace of play, but the Gee-Gees were the first to consistently attack, testing Laval’s defence and taking the ball down to the goal line.

After a series of mauls and breakdowns, Laval was the first to score. This did not deter the Gees, since not long after, they broke through and scored a try of their own.

The non-stop action continued as Laval came back with a try, using their strengths in the centre positions and great ball-handling to muscle their way through the Gees’ defensive line. But the garnet and grey came back to score on the run with some impressive offloading.

In the final moments of the game, the intensity rose and Laval put constant pressure on the Gees’ back line. Ottawa’s forwards were able to fight off the barrage of runs, and it was at this crucial point in the game that the Gee-Gees played their best rugby. It was the women’s work ethic in the scrums that held them to a one-point victory.

“Laval is probably one of the toughest teams we’re going to face,” said scrumhalf Erin Van Gulik. “Last year was the first time we beat Laval in 20 years.”

With this victory, Van Gulik is confident the team is improving.

“We’re definitely going to gain momentum, and today is just a taste of what we have,” she said. “We have so much more talent and a lot more to bring.”

Although the Gees pulled off the win, Van Gulik said her team has plenty to improve in order to avoid close calls.

“We definitely need to capitalize on our opportunities better. We made a lot of crucial knock-ons and we weren’t really organized, but we have a lot of time to fix that. It’s the little stuff.”

The Gee-Gees are looking to use this victory as a boost as they prepare to travel next weekend to Sherbrooke to face the Vert et Or on Sept. 14. Women’s rugby team plays Sept. 7.