The University of New Brunswick Reds beat previous undefeated St. Thomas University Tommies 14-5 during the ACAA Women’s Rugby Championship at the Scotia Bank Park Field on Nov. 1.
STU’s head coach Meghan McAfee said that she believes the game ended the way it did because the Tommies didn’t adjust to what UNB was doing.
“At the end of the day (UNB) played really hard,” she said. “They played awesome. They’ve adjusted based on the games we’ve played this season… I think that was it,” said McAfee.
“(STU) played really hard, I wish we could’ve had it, (but) I guess we’ll just have to try next season,” she said.
The Tommies team captain Meghan MacEachern said STU came into the game as prepared as they could be.
“Our hearts were in it, our souls were in it, but so were theirs,” she said.
“At the end of the day, it’s a game and everybody gets better from practice to practice. We put our hearts and souls out there today, so I’m very proud of the girls, win or lose.”
The game kicked off at 2 p.m. The first kick by STU landed the ball into UNB possession, leading to a series of rucks that allowed STU to regain the ball.
The Reds gained possession of the ball but kicked it into the Tommies. After a number of rucks, UNB managed to get the ball and bring it close to STU’s endzone.
A kick placed the ball out of bounds leading to a scrum in the eighth minute, giving UNB their first attempt at a try. The attempt was unsuccessful giving STU possession who kicked it out.
The Reds threw the ball in from the sideline sending the team into a scrum. UNB made attempts to break through and score, but STU gained possession when an attempt at a field goal was unsuccessful.
Another scrum in the fourteenth minute resulted with the ball going out of bounds, UNB threw it in. A ruck gave UNB possession, but a tackle from STU gave them the opportunity to make a field goal kick.
The kick was successful and the Reds scored three points to take the lead at the end of the sixteenth minute.
A kick from STU gave the Reds possession. The ball went back and forth between the teams, but a scrum at the nineteenth minute saw UNB gain a few yards. The Reds fought back with tackles, but UNB pushed through and scored a try, putting the Reds 8-0.
A throw by the Tommies lead to a series of rucks and STU was able to maintain possession, but unable to break through to score.
A tackle from the Reds left a Tommie with an injury, but STU pushed into the end of the first-half strong.
A kick from UNB caused a 30-yard rush for the Reds, but STU managed to get the ball back. A field goal kick from STU came close, but hit the post.
A scrum led to a number of attempts to score and the Tommies got on the board with a try in the 38 minute. The first half ended with the Reds ahead 8-5.
The Tommies came out strong in the second half, getting the ball deep into UNB’s territory. STU came close to scoring, but had no success breaking through.
A kick by UNB at the 54 minute mark led to a hustle for the ball near STU’s end zone. A series of rucks saw the Reds close in on the Tommies and gained a field goal, making it 11-5 for UNB.
A scrum in the 71st minute gave STU a few yards towards the Reds end zone, but a tackle gave UNB possession.
A kick into STU’s goal area a few minutes later saw the Tommies unable to get a handle on the ball, and a throw-in from UNB allowed the Reds to close in.
An injury for the Reds paused the game, resulting in a field-goal kick that won the game 14-5 for the Reds making them the 2015 ACAA Women’s Rugby Champions.
Despite the loss, McAfee said that she has been privileged to have had such an incredible group of young women to work with over the season.
“They are silly, they are fun, they care so much about each other,” she said.
“They’ve really developed a love for the sport… no matter where you go in the world, the people who play (rugby) know that there’s something special about it, and these girls really get that.”
MacEachern said through all of the ups and downs, she thought the Tommies undefeated season was amazing.
“This season has just summarized what it means to be a Tommie for me,” she said. “Overall, coming on top of it as just a big rugby family… it’s been unreal.”
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