Gryphon rugby women run away with victory
GUELPH – Just when the Brock Badgers looked like they were going to threaten the Guelph Gryphons in OUA women’s rugby league play Saturday at Varsity Field, the Gryphons ran away and hid.
The Gryphs scored the final four tries of the game as they dropped Brock 38-7 in their first home league game in almost two years.
Guelph Gryphons 38 Brock 7
With a short four-game regular season, the Gryphs are busy trying to figure out which players play well together.
“We need to try some new combinations because it’s such a shortened season,” coach Colette McCauley said. “We didn’t have a lot of exhibition and we literally have four games to figure out combinations. When you’re working on combinations, timing is a little bit off. I’m not worried about anything. The girls played an upbeat game. The tempo was good. Positioning was good. The handling errors, timing and connection and that will come as the season goes on. I’m really happy with their defence. There were a couple of little glitches in there, but again just connection and communication. Overall, the effort was excellent.”
The hosts scored the opening two tries of the match, but Brock connected for a converted try with eight minutes to go in the first half to close the gap to five points. However, the Gryphs responded with a pair of tries three minutes apart to extend their lead to 26-7 at halftime.
“They took opportunities that were given to them which is great,” McCauley said. “We probably left three or four significant opportunities on the field.”
Hannah Beaumont collected three tries for the Gryphs while Talia Hoffman had two and Kendra Cousineau had one and four converts.
Lane Hessels scored the try for Brock and Daniella Michaud added the convert.
So quick is the regular season that the Gryphs are already at the halfway point.
“We had one exhibition game and it’s difficult when you have a program of this size and this calibre to get everyone up to speed and on the same page,” McCauley said. “You could really tell we’ve had almost two years away from the 15s game because the tactical stuff is a work on every week. We try to add something every week and the girls respond, but there’s still a lot to get to where we want to be.”
Of course, a shortened season is a lot better than no season at all as was the case last year when all OUA sports were cancelled due to the pandemic.
“So happy to be playing, so happy,” McCauley said. “Competition is key.”
The Gryphs and Queen’s Gaels lead the Shiels Division with 2-0 records while the McMaster Marauders and York Lions are both at 0-1 and Brock’s at 0-2.
Guelph and Queen’s are to tangle Saturday at Varsity Field. Game time is 3 p.m.
Top four teams in the division are to qualify for the playoffs that are to start with the semifinals Oct. 30. Semifinal victors are to meet in the OUA final Nov. 6.
- Guelph Sports Journal