The Gee-Gees women's rugby team has been crowned RSEQ Champions for a sixth consecutive season, defeating the rival Laval Rouge et Or on the road by a score of 25-15 to accomplish the feat.
"I've been here 7 years — that was the biggest win in my career as a Gee-Gees coach," said head coach Jen Boyd following the victory.
"17 of our 25 were first and second years. Last time we were there was about a month ago, they beat us 32-0 and we never crossed their half, we never had a chance. They never had the ball second half, we had all possession, one handling error, which is unheard of," she said.
Ottawa opened the scoring with a try just five minutes into the contest. A penalty kick near the midway point of the first half extended the lead to eight points, but a response from Laval moments later cut that lead to a single point.
In the final seconds of the first half, Laval tallied another try to earn their first lead of the night.
Ottawa's attacked pressured further as the second half began. They broke through in the 52nd minute with a try to take the lead, but a penalty kick from Laval a few moments later knotted the contest at 15 points each.
Another penalty kick from Claire Gallagher restored the lead for the Garnet and Grey midway through the second half, while the defence buckled down in order to maintain it.
A late try in the final minutes of the game padded the lead for the Gee-Gees and ultimately helped clinch the victory.
The keys to the victory ultimately came down to defence, discipline and effort, according to Boyd.
"We had one penalty in the second half, we've never played that disciplined in my seven years here. That's the best, biggest win I've had as a Gee-Gees coach, hands down," she said.
Both Ottawa and Laval will now look ahead to the U SPORTS Rugby Championship presented by uOttawa. Catch all the action featuring the top eight women's rugby teams in the country from October 30 – November 3 at Matt Anthony Field.
We know we can play with arguably one of the best teams in the country. I think Laval is one of the best in the country, if not the best, as a team. And we were obviously able to compete with them," Boyd said.
"So it gives the young ones a lot of confidence and the older ones know what this tournament is like — anything can happen. We're looking forward to the next week for sure."
Photo: Mathieu Belanger