GAME 3 Pool B CIS championship: StFX joins Concordia in national final
By Trent University sports information / Photo
credit Matt Stetson
PETERBOROUGH, Ont. (CIS) – The St. Francis Xavier X-Women advanced to the CIS women’s rugby final for the third straight year thanks to a nail-biting 18-17 win over the Guelph Gryphons, Saturday afternoon, in the final Pool B match of the national championship hosted by Trent University.
StFX (2-0) finishes first in Pool B with nine points, ahead of second-place Guelph (1-1 / 9 pts) and Trent (0-2 / 0 pts).
The X-Women, who captured their lone Monilex trophy title in 2006 with a 10-5 gold-medal victory over Guelph, returned to the national final each of the past two seasons only to lose Lethbridge on both occasions, by 29-15 in 2008 and 20-3 a year ago.
The AUS champions hope for a better result when they face the
first-time CIS finalist Concordia Stingers Sunday at 2:30 p.m.
The OUA champion Gryphons will try to claim the bronze medal for the fourth consecutive year. Guelph meets Lethbridge for third place Sunday at 12:15 p.m.
Winning coach Mike Cavanagh was full of praise for the losing Gryphons.
“What a class act they are. Well coached and well played. We’ll take the victory and run.”
Collette McAuley spoke proudly of her players.
“They played their hearts out. We’re obviously very disappointed but now we’ll get ready to come back out tomorrow and play for a medal.”
StFX and Guelph treated a capacity crowd to a thrilling game that was not decided until the very last play.
With no time left on the clock, the X-Women kept the ball alive inside the Guelph 22 and CIS all-Canadian Asya Bartley of Ottawa touched down on a play so close that officials had to consult at length on whether she had been driven out over the touch-in-goal line before finally awarding the game-winning try.
The game featured very quick ball movement by both teams with matching speed and determined, swarming defence for a full 70 minutes.
Guelph scored first in the 26th minute after several threatening runs from both sides had been stopped by fierce defensive play. Mirela Rahvena of Ottawa took the ball in after Guelph had spread the X-Women’s defence by quick ball movement back and forth across the field.
Beth McNeill of Vancouver put StFX in position to score with a well-placed kick at the end of the first half but Guelph managed to hold and take its 5-0 lead into the break.
The X-Women scored almost immediately in the second half, as Courtney Malcolm of New Glasgow, N.S., grabbed a Guelph knock on deep into enemy territory and scooted in to touch down. Magali Harvey of Quebec City converted.
Guelph responded just as quickly as rapid ball movement through multiple phases took the ball to the StFX goal line. CIS player of the year Jacey Murphy of Alliston, Ont., drove the ball over the line but was held up and StFX used well-placed kicks to put the ball back into Guelph territory.
At the 52-minute mark, Harvey slotted a penalty kick and the momentum seemed about to shift, but Guelph returned to the lead with a quick run down the wing and a try by Caitlin Beaton of Clavering, Ont., converted by Shannon Spurrell of Haley Station, Ont.
After a series of fierce changes of possession, Harvey put her team up 13-12 with another long penalty kick with five minutes remaining.
Two minutes later however, Dominique Monaghan of Markham, Ont., drove the ball in for Guelph and StFX’s fate seemed to be sealed, now down 17-13.
Atlantic conference MVP Tyson Beukeboom of Uxbridge, Ont., who played an outstanding two-way game for the winners, kept the ball alive and handed off to Bartley for the winning try.
SFX: 0-18: 18
GUE: 5-12: 17
1. GUE: Mirela Rahneva (5)
2. SFX: Courtnay Malcolm (5), Magali Harvey (2)
3. SFX: Magali Harvey (3)
4. GUE: Caitlin Beaton (5), Shannon Spurrel (2)
5. SFX: Magali Harvey (3)
6. GUE: Dominique Monaghan (5)
7. SFX: Asya Bartley (5)
Players of the game
SFX: Amanda Bedard (Belleisle, N.B.)
GUE: Britt Benn (Napanee, Ont.)
(5) Try: 5 points
(3) Penalty goal: 3 points
(2) Convert: 2 points
POOL STANDINGS, SCHEDULE & RESULTS
Pool A (final)
GP W L PF PA PTS
1. Concordia 2 2 0 51 15 9
2. Lethbridge 2 1 1 27 31 5
3. Queen’s 2 0 2 15 47 1
Pool B (final)
GP W L PF PA PTS
1. StFX 2 2 0 55 17 9
2. Guelph 2 1 1 54 23 6
3. Trent 2 0 2 5 74 0
NOTE: A win is worth 4 points.
NOTE 2: 1 bonus point is awarded for scoring 4 tries or more in a game, and 1 bonus point is allowed for a loss by 7 points or less.
Thursday, Nov. 4
11:00 Round-Robin Pool A: Lethbridge 15, Queen’s 12 (OT)
13:30 Round-Robin Pool B: StFX 37, Trent 0
Friday, Nov. 5
11:00 Round-Robin Pool A: Concordia 32, Queen’s 3
13:30 Round-Robin Pool B: Guelph 37, Trent 5
Saturday, Nov. 6
11:00 Round-Robin Pool A: Concordia 19, Lethbridge 12
13:30 Round-Robin Pool B: StFX 18, Guelph 17
Sunday, Nov. 7
10:00 5th place: Queen’s vs. Trent (SSN Canada webcast)
12:15 Bronze medal: Lethbridge vs. Guelph (SSN Canada webcast)
14:30 Championship final: Concordia vs. StFX (SSN Canada webcast)