Gryphon rugby women fall to Queen’s in OUA final
KINGSTON – For the second consecutive year the Guelph Gryphons fell to the Queen’s Gaels in the OUA women’s rugby championship match on Nixon Field on the Queen’s campus.
Friday night the Gaels grabbed the lead in the first half and never relinquished it as they won 33-19.
Both teams advance to the U Sports national championship tournament next week at Quebec City.
In the OUA final, Queen’s went ahead with the game’s opening try in the seventh minute on Taylor Perry’s long run down the middle of the field before the Gryphs attempted to pull even, but were held out of the endzone by the defence of the hosts.
Mika Matsukubo added a second try for the hosts on another long run, this one down the right side of the field, before Maddy Hobson fought her way into the endzone to give the Gryphs their first try of the game in the 34th minute to cut the lead for the hosts to 12-5 by halftime.
Queen’s added to its lead with two more tries in the first 15 minutes of the second half. Maggie Banks and Siobhan Sheerin scored those tries to extend the lead for the Gaels to 21 points.
The lead grew to 28 points in the 65th minute on another try with Rachel Cullum scoring to complete a passing play.
The Gryphs cut the gap to the final 14-point difference with tries by Alexis Buzby and Taylor McKnight in the final 10 minutes. Tousani Levale converted both to complete the scoring in the game.
Lizzie Gibson kicked four converts for the Gaels.
The win completes an unbeaten OUA season for Queen’s while the only losses for the Gryphs were both in Kingston against the Gaels as Queen’s had won their regular-season match 25-20 Sept. 23.
The Gryphs and Gaels both advance to the U Sports championship tournament. The Gaels will be seeded in the top four while the Gryphs can be seeded no higher than fifth.
They’ll be joined at the national tournament by the Quebec champion Ottawa Gee-Gees, hosts and Quebec finalist Laval Rouge et Or, Canada West champion UBC Thunderbirds, Canada West finalist Victoria Vikes, Atlantic champion St. Francis Xavier X-Women and Atlantic finalist UPEI Panthers.
Laval entered this week’s play ranked first in the country while Queen’s was second, Ottawa third, UBC fourth, the Gryphs fifth, Victoria eighth, UPEI ninth and StFX 10th.
Queen’s, Ottawa, UBC and StFX will be ranked in the top four at the national championship tournament, not necessarily in that order, as conference champs get the top-four rankings.
Play is to start Wednesday with the quarter-finals while all teams are to play Friday with Wednesday’s winners advancing to the finals and the other four dropping into the consolation semifinals.
Tournament play is to wrap up Nov. 5 with the fifth-place match at 11 a.m., bronze-medal match at 1 p.m. and gold-medal match at 3 p.m.
- Guelph Sports Journal