Gryphon rugby women take aim at national medal
OTTAWA – The Guelph Gryphons will be playing for a national medal Sunday at the U Sports women’s rugby championship tournament at the University of Ottawa’s Matt Anthony Field.
That became a certainty Wednesday when the Gryphs opened the tournament by dropping the defending champion St. Francis Xavier X-Women 36-12.
While the X-Women were national champions last year, the Gryphs silver medalists and some of the Gryphons could use that as motivation for the tournament opener.
“We have a fairly young squad this year, so half of them kind of have the broken heart from last year when StFX crushed our dreams in the gold-medal game. But (for) half of them, it was fresh and new, this is a new experience,” Gryphons head coach Colette McAuley said in a news release. “We knew if we could jump out ahead with our speed in the first half that we had to have that mindset again in the second half, making sure that we starved them of possession instead of the other way around.”
The Gryphs did jump ahead early as they went up 19-5 in the first half. Emmanuela Jada hit for two tries in the first half, the first one coming in the first five minutes of the game. Emilie Belanger scored the other try for the locals while Kendra Cousineau kicked a pair of converts.
Sammy Nadeau collected the first try for StFX late in the half.
Jada and Talia Hoffman scored second-half tries for the Gryphs while Jasmine Ing converted both and also had a penalty goal.
Sam Lake scored a try for the X-Women in the second half while Dani Franada added a convert.
The Gryphs are to play the Laval Rouge et Or Friday at 5 p.m. in the national semifinal match. Winner advances to Sunday’s gold-medal game at 3:30 p.m. while the loser will play in the bronze-medal match at 12:30 p.m.
Gryphons 36 X-Women 12
St. Francis Xavier 5-7–12
- Guelph Sports Journal