All season long, the Gee-Gees women's rugby team has known they'll be competing at the U SPORTS Rugby Championship presented by uOttawa. Now the tournament has finally arrived.
While a birth was always guaranteed, the host Gee-Gees earned their way in, defeating the Laval Rouge et Or by a score of 25-15 last week and winning their sixth-straight RSEQ Championship.
This year, Ottawa enters the tournament with a youthful squad. 17 of 25 players in the RSEQ Final are in their first or second year with the team. Winning the league championship gave the squad a significant boost in confidence heading into the national tournament.
"It gives the young ones a lot of confidence and the older ones know what this tournament is like — anything can happen," said head coach Jen Boyd following the victory last week.
The Gee-Gees open the tournament with the 5 p.m. game on Wednesday, taking on the Canada West silver medalist University of Calgary Dinos.
Catch all the action at Matt Anthony Field, tickets are available at tickets.geegees.ca.
A full schedule of the week can be found here.
All games will be streamed online at USPORTS.live.
DAY ONE SCHEDULE
11:00 a.m. — #1 St. Francis Xavier University vs. #8 Guelph University
- Reigning national champion St. FX enters the tournament undefeated on the season, after going 6-0 in the regular season and 2-0 in the playoffs.
- St. FX and Guelph previously met last season in the U SPORTS gold
2:00 p.m. — #4 University of British Columbia vs. #5 Laval Rouge et Or
- UBC earned their way to nationals by winning the Canada West title for the first time in program history.
- Laval was undefeated in the regular season with a record of 6-0, and outscored opponents by a margin of 241 to 26.
5:00 p.m. — #3 University of Ottawa vs. #5 University of Calgary
- Michaela Haley's 11 tries during the season is tied for most by any player at Nationals.
- Ottawa and Calgary most recently met at the 2017 National Championship in Lethbridge during their Semi-Final game. Ottawa won by a score of 32-15, tallying 17 unanswered points in overtime.
6:30 p.m. — Opening Ceremony
7:30 p.m. — #3 Queen's University vs. #6 Acadia University
- Queen's was also undefeated on the season, going 4-0 in the regular season and 2-0 in the playoffs. OUA MVP Sophie de Goede led Queen's with 76 points, the most by any player appearing at the tournament.
- Queen's and Acadia recently clashed in Consolation Semi-Final at the 2017 National Championship. Queen's prevailed by a score of 38-10.