The U SPORTS women's rugby nationals got off to an exciting start as the Laval Rouge et Or defeated the Calgary Dinos 28-22 in the first of four quarterfinal matches Nov. 1 in Wolfville.
Véronique Gagné broke a 22-22 tie late in the second half with a pair of three-point penalty kicks to lead her team to victory.
Laval took the early advantage and cashed in as Player of the Game Marie-Laura Choquette scored her first of three tries on the match after just 2:12 of play.
Gagné's convert attempt failed, leaving the Rouge et Or with an early 5-0 lead.
Calgary came right back on the next possession, tying the score on a Taejah Thompson try at the 5:14 mark. Elysa Sandron's successful conversion gave the Dinos their first lead at 7-5.
Undaunted, Laval regained possession, and found the scoreboard again on a nice individual effort by Choquette. The conversion attempt failed, but Laval was back in the lead, 10-7 at 15:46.
Then it was Calgary's turn to once again grab the advantage. Sandron pushed a try across at 18:18, finishing off a frantic opening 20 minutes of play. Her conversion attempt failed, but the Dinos regained the lead, 12-10.
The teams went to their dressing rooms at halftime with the Dinos still holding a slim two-point lead.
Following the intermission, it was Calgary that came out strong, grabbing the early advantage and increasing their lead to seven points on a try credited to Erin Geddie just 1:24 into the second half.
Again, as was the story throughout a back-and-forth battle, Laval rebounded to even the score.
Éliane Côté scored a try at the 44:46 mark, and Gagné was good on the conversion to tie the score at 17.
The Rouge et Or continued to apply pressure, and were rewarded when Choquette notched her third try of the match for a 22-17 Laval lead at the 50-minute mark.
The Dinos then mounted a drive of their own, tying the score on an Alyson MacDougall try at 60:47. Sandron's attempt to give her team the lead was unsuccessful, leaving the score tied at 22 with time running down.
Laval moved the ball to within kicking range for Gagné, and the third-year performer made no mistake, splitting the uprights on a penalty kick to give Laval a lead it would not relinquish.
A little over four minutes later, Gagné added a second penalty kick to increase the lead to six.
CAL 12-10: 22
LAV 10-18: 28
- LAV – Marie-Laura Choquette try (conversion failed) 2:12
- CGY– Taejah Thompson try (Elysa Sandron conversion) 5:14
- LAV – Marie-Laura Choquette try (conversion failed) 15:46
- CGY – Elysa Sandron try (conversion failed) 18:18
- CGY – Erin Geddie try (conversion failed) 36:24
- LAV – Éliane Côté try (Veronique Gagne conversion) 44:46
- LAV – Marie-Laura Choquette try (conversion failed) 50:10
- CGY– Alyson MacDougall try (conversion failed) 60:47
- LAV – Véronique Gagné penalty kick 64:55
- LAV – Véronique Gagné penalty kick 69:11
Players of the game
- CGY: Taejah Thompon
- LAV: Marie-Laura Choquette
As the official Rugby Ball Supplier of U SPORTS, Gilbert Rugby Canada will provide match balls and other prizing to the 2018 U SPORTS Women’s Rugby Championship hosted by Acadia University from Nov.1-4 at Raymond Field in Wolfville, N.S.