Defending champ StFX dominates opener

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Michel Belanger 

PETERBOROUGH, Ont. (CIS) – The St. Francis Xavier University X-Women opened the defence of their national title in spectacular fashion Thursday morning with a dominating 76-3 win over the tournament host Trent Excalibur in the first game of the 2011 CIS women’s rugby championship, at Justin Chiu Stadium.

With the victory, the X-Women take the early lead in pool A and will enjoy a break until Saturday at 10:30 a.m., when they face the Lethbridge Pronghorns in their second and final preliminary round match-up.

Trent will try to rebound against Lethbridge Friday at 10:30 a.m.

The X-Women dominated from start to finish, taking a 50-0 lead into the halftime break. Magali Harvey, a second-year all-Canadian fullback from Quebec City, was the offensive star for the winners as she scored 26 points on a try, a penalty goal and nine converts.

Jayme Ward and two-time AUS MVP Tyson Beukeboom added two tries apiece, while Asya Bartley, Olivia DeMerchant, Lisa Gauthier, Sara Kalijuvee, Amanda Thornborough and Vanessa Duffley each had one.

Bartley, a prop from Ottawa, put StFX on the scoreboard early, just before the third minute mark. It was the first of seven first-half tries for the 14-time AUS champions.

“We came out on fire in the first half,” commented StFX head coach Mike Cavanagh. “I thought we controlled the game well, and I am happy with our start to the tournament.

“Our next game against Lethbridge is a very important one and we need to be ready for that. We need to correct some mistakes and be ready to play.”

Although overmatched, the Excalibur never gave up. Celeigh Harris of Lakefield, Ont., avoided the shutout with a penalty goal at the 49th minute.

Player-of-the-game honours went to Kaljuvee of Ajax, Ont., for the X-Women, and Andrea Luke of Warsaw, Ont., for Trent.

The first-place finishers in groups A and B advance straight to Sunday’s gold-medal final. The second-place teams will battle for CIS bronze, while the last-place finishers play for fifth position.

SCORING SUMMARY

SFX 50-26: 76

TRE 0-3: 3

First half

SFX – Asya Bartley try (Magali Harvey convert) 2nd minute

SFX – Olivia DeMerchant try (Magali Harvey convert) 10th

SFX – Lisa Gauthier try (Magali Harvey convert) 16th

SFX – Jayme Ward try 21st

SFX – Jayme Ward try (Magali Harvey convert) 27th

SFX – Tyson Beukeboom try (Magali Harvey convert) 29th

SFX – Sara Kalijuvee try (Magali Harvey convert) 33rd

SFX – Magali Harvey penalty goal 35th

Second half

SFX – Magali Harvey try (Magali Harvey convert) 43rd

TRE – Celeigh Harris penalty goal 49th

SFX – Tyson Beukeboom try 52nd

SFX – Amanda Thornborough try (Magali Harvey convert) 65th

SFX – Vanessa Duffley try (Magali Harvey convert) 67th

Players of the game

SFX: Sara Kaljuvee

TRE: Andrea Luke

Legend:

Try: 5 points

Penalty goal: 3 points

Convert: 2 points

Official championship website: http://english.cis-sic.ca/championships/wrugby/index

POOL STANDINGS, SCHEDULE & RESULTS

Pool A

GP W L T PF PA PTS

1. StFX 1 1 0 0 76 3 5

2. Lethbridge 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

3. Trent 1 0 1 0 3 76 0

Pool B

GP W L T PF PA PTS

1. Laval 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

2. Guelph 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

3. McMaster 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

NOTE 1: A win is worth 4 points and a tie 2 points.

NOTE 2: 1 bonus point is awarded for scoring 4 tries or more in a game.

NOTE 3: 1 bonus point is awarded for a loss by 7 points or less.

Thursday, Nov. 3

10:30 Round-Robin Pool A: StFX 76 Trent 3

13:30 Round-Robin Pool B: Laval vs. McMaster (SSN Canada webcast)

Friday, Nov. 4

10:30 Round-Robin Pool A: Trent vs. Lethbridge (SSN Canada webcast)

13:30 Round-Robin Pool B: Loser Pool B #1 vs. Guelph (SSN Canada webcast)

Saturday, Nov. 5

10:30 Round-Robin Pool A: StFX vs. Lethbridge (SSN Canada webcast)

13:30 Round-Robin Pool B: Winner Pool B #1 vs. Guelph (SSN Canada webcast)

Sunday, Nov. 6

10:00 5th place: Third place Pool A vs. third place Pool B (SSN Canada webcast)

12:00 Bronze medal: Second place Pool A vs. second place Pool B (SSN Canada webcast)

14:00 Championship final: First place Pool A vs. first place Pool B (SSN Canada webcast)

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