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Gaels strike silver at women’s nationals

[Queen's Gaels win silver at women's rugby nationals]
The Queen's Gaels show off their silver medals after a 22-14 defeat to the Laval Rouge et Or at the U Sports Women's Rugby Championship on Sunday in Ottawa. (University Communications)

The Queen’s Gaels claimed the silver medal at the U Sports Women's Rugby Championship, falling 22-14 in the final against the Laval Rouge et Or at Matt Anthony Field at the University of Ottawa.

Both teams were coming off impressive defensive showings in the semifinals, where they were able to hold their respective opponents, Ottawa and Guelph, to a combined 15 points on Friday.

Laval opened the scoring early off a lineout and then the play of both teams settled down with the ball not leaving the central part of the field. Another try gave the Rouge et Or a 12-0 lead after 40 minutes.

Following the break, Laval was given a yellow card for tackling a Queen's player in the air off the kickoff. With the extra player, the Gaels offence came alive when McKinley Hunt scored a try through the middle.

Laval responded though. Again off a lineout, the Rouge et Or maul pushed the Gaels back 15-yards for the score.

Queen's wasn't about to go out quietly and Sophie de Goede got the ball out of the ruck and ran in the try to cut the lead to 19-14. With the Laval lead at five, they took the opportunity to get points with a penalty kick to extend the advantage to two scores.

With time running out, Laval was happy to kill the clock and play slow. The Gaels couldn't get together an offensive run before time ran out and Laval claimed their first-ever U SPORTS gold medal.

For Queen's it marks their second U Sports silver in the past five-seasons having won silver at home on Nixon Field in 2015.

The Tricolour will once again play host to the national championship next year as the best in Canada come to Kingston in November 2020.