After blowing by their opponent in week one of the season, the Gee-Gees were prepared for a bigger test awaiting them when the Laval Rouge et Or visited Ottawa on Sunday afternoon. Right from the opening kickoff, it was obvious it would be anyone's game and while Laval appeared to pressure the Gee-Gees into their own end for a large part the game it was uOtttawa who came out on top with the narrow 15-14 win.
The bigger and stronger Rouge et Or overpowered uOttawa at times, forcing them to play defence and to adjust to their style of play. Thankfully for the hometown team, the forwards were able to step up, giving their backs the opportunity to run the ball up field and get out of their end. Nathalie Palmer also played an important role in keeping the Gee-Gees in the game, making tackle after tackle for the girls in the garnet and grey.
“I think the way that we were able to play today really shows the potential of this team because we did not play our best rugby but were able to leave here with the win,” said flyhalf Nathalie Palmer. “uOttawa is more known for its strong play in the back field but today our forwards really stepped up and gave us what we needed to pull off the win and they deserve credit.”
“Overall it was a good game. Laval is a very strong team so I am happy we won of course. We did see some weaknesses in our team today that we will need to work on. Playing against such a good team exposes those things and we rather that happen in the beginning of the season. The fact that we managed to take the win today despite not playing our best against a good team says a lot about this program,” said head coach Jen Boyd.
Laval was able to make a final push in the final minutes of the game but the Gee-Gees shut the door, playing their best rugby in end of the second half. Despite being banged up by some hard-hitting tackles, Megan Copeland-Dinan came up big in the end of the game, breaking up Laval’s game threatening run in extra time.
Afton Maisonneuve and Megan Copeland-Dinan recorded the first two tries for Ottawa, punching the ball in for the first half tries. After going 0/2 on her convert attempts, Irene Patrinos was able to slide into the end zone thanks to a solid run put together by the Gee-Gees in the second half. Laval's Anne-Charlotte Beaulieu had a strong performance of her own for the Rouge et Or putting up one try along with two converts.
The Gee-Gees will attempt to feed off this victory and carry it into next weekend when they will travel to Sherbrooke where they will take on the Vert et Or. The game will kick off on 1:00 p.m. next Sunday September 14th.