U SPORTS Communications
LETHBRIDGE, Alta. – Battling snowy and cold conditions, the third-seeded Calgary Dinos opened the U SPORTS Women’s Rugby Championship with a convincing 41-5 victory over the sixth-seeded Queen’s Gaels.
The win moves the Dinos into the first semifinal Friday afternoon, facing the winner of the Ottawa Gee-Gees and Acadia Axewomen. The Gaels will face the loser of that game in the first Consolation semifinal.
“We are really happy with the win, especially in those conditions we had,” said Calgary head coach Simon Chi. “The girls dug deep and found a way to win this one.”
With constant snow and wind out of the north, playing conditions were tough for both teams, leading to numerous turnovers and knock-ons by both teams.
While the Dinos hemmed the Gaels on their own side of the field in the early going, the Queen’s defence was able to hold Calgary at bay and created turnovers to relieve some of the pressure.
Out of a warmup break, the Dinos again pushed the Gaels deep into their own end and were finally rewarded. Canada West MVP DeLeaka Menin took the ball from a ruck and dove over the line to give the Dinos a 5-0 lead.
Just before the half, coming off a good build up from the Dinos, Samantha May touched the ball down for the Dinos’ second try of the half. Elysa Sandron made the convert to put the Dinos up 12-0.
In the opening minutes of the second half, scrum half Berlyn Seselja added to the Dinos’ lead and Sandron made her second convert for a 17-0 lead.
Queen’s was able to get on the board five minutes later, with a nice response, Molly Labenski broke free on the far side of the field and touched the ball down for an unconverted try.
With a response right back, Temitope Ogunjimi took off down the slide lines, out-racing Gaels defenders for her first try of the match to put the Dinos up 24-5 with 23 minutes to play.
Out of the second cold weather break of the game, the Dinos recorded three consecutive tries to put the game out of reach. Menin, Ogunjimi and Isla Shill scored the Calgary tries.
Calgary: 12-29 TOTAL: 41
Queen’s: 0-5 TOTAL: 5
24’ Calgary -DeLeaka Menin Try, convert missed – 5-0
35’ Calgary – Samantha May Try, convert made (Elysa Sandron) 12-0
38’ Calgary – Berlyn Seselja Try, convert made (Sandron) 19-0
43’ Queen’s – Molly Labenski try, convert missed – 19-5
45’ Calgary - Temitope Ogunjimi, convert missed -24-5
56’ Calgary – DeLeaka Menin, convert missed – 29-5
60’ Calgary - Temitope Ogunjimi,
62’ Calgary – Isla Shill, Convert made – 41-5