Guelph downs defending champs


October 31, 2013, QUEBEC CITY (ISN) – The Guelph Gryphons sent a clear message Thursday morning in the first game of the CIS women’s rugby championship, easily defeating the defending champion St. Francis Xavier X-Women by a score of 37-12 at TELUS-Université Laval Stadium.

The tournament opener was a rematch of the last two CIS finals. StFX claimed the Monilex Trophy a year ago with a 37-0 head-to-head victory, avenging a 28-0 gold medal loss to Guelph in 2011.

With the win, the Gryphons (1-0), who came into the competition as OUA runners-up, take the early lead in Pool A and will benefit from a day off on Friday before facing the RSEQ champion McGill Martlets on Saturday at 10:30 a.m.

As for the X-Women (0-1), who recently claimed their 16th straight AUS banner, they will play their final round-robin match Friday at 10:30 a.m, also against the Martlets.

After the game, Guelph head coach Colette McAuley said she was proud of her squad. “The girls definitely had something to prove. They went out there and played the game plan they needed to play. I also thought they kept their composure even when they were under pressure.”

StFX coach Mike Cavanagh did not hesitate to give credit to his opponents. “Guelph did a very good job at controlling the game. Their ball retention was very well. We were under pressure the whole game.”

Click here to hear complete comments from both head coaches 

The Gryphons had a solid first half, opening the score in the seventh minute through a penalty kick from Stephanie Tibelius of Ottawa. StFX answered two minutes later with the first try of the game scored by Emma Taylor of Scotsburn, N.S., which was not successfully converted. It was then 5-3 in favour of the X-Women.

Guelph then took control of the rest of the half. Megan Lowry of Barrie, Ont., scored two tries at the 15- and 25-minute marks, both converted by Tibelius. The latter added a penalty kick at the very end of the half, and it was 20-5 in favour of the Gryphons at the break.

StFX wasn’t able to make up any ground in the second period.

Instead, Devon Keys of Newmarket, Ont., increased the Gryphons’ lead 27-5 in the 49th minute with a try converted by Tibelius.

The X-Women did get some new life in the 54th minute when Lauren Agnew of Stittsville, Ont., flattened the ball into the in-goal area and Sabrina McDaid of Scarborough, Ont., added the conversion to cut the deficit to 27-12.

Guelph answered right away however. Tibelius scored a penalty kick in the 60th minute, then Shannon Spurell of Haley Station, Ont., added a converted try with one minute to play to complete the scoring.

Center Shannon Spurrell was named player of the game for Guelph, while the honour went to fly-half Sabrina McDaid for StFX.

Official championship website: 


  • StFX 20-17: 37
  • GUE 5-7: 12

First half

  • GUE – Stephanie Tibelius penalty goal 7th (StFX 0 – GUE 3)
  • StFX – Emma Taylor try 9th (StFX 5 – GUE 3)
  • GUE – Megan Lowry try (Stephanie Tibelius convert) 15th (StFX 5 – GUE 10)
  • GUE – Megan Lowry try (Stephanie Tibelius convert) 15e (StFX 5 – GUE 17)
  • GUE – Stephanie Tibelius penalty goal 35th (StFX 5 – GUE 20)

Second half

  • GUE – Devon Keys try (Stephanie Tibelius convert) 49th (StFX 5 – GUE 27)
  • StFX – Lauren Agnew try (Sabrina McDaid convert) 54th (StFX 12 – GUE 27)
  • GUE – Stephanie Tibelius penalty goal 60th (StFX 12 – GUE 30)
  • GUE – Shannon Spurrell try (Stephanie Tibelius convert) 69th (StFX 5 – GUE 37)

Players of the game

  • GUE: Shannon Spurrell (Haley Station, Ont.)
  • StFX: Sabrina McDaid (Scarborough, Ont.)


Try: 5 points

Penalty goal: 3 points

Convert: 2 points


Pool A preliminary round

                GP W L T PF PA PTS

1. Guelph  1 1 0 0 37 12 5

2. McGill     0 0 0 0 0 0 0

3. StFX      1 0 1 0 12 37 0

Pool B preliminary round

                 GP W L T PF PA PTS

1. Queen’s 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

2. Alberta   0 0 0 0 0 0 0

3. Laval      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, Oct. 31

  • 10:30 Pool A: Guelph 37, StFX 12
  • 13:30 Pool B: Queen’s vs. Laval

Friday, Nov. 1

  • 10:30 Pool A: StFX vs. McGill
  • 13:30 Pool B: Loser (Queen’s-Laval) vs. Alberta

Saturday, Nov. 2

  • 10:30 Pool A: Guelph vs. McGill
  • 13:30 Pool B: Winner (Queen’s-Laval) vs. Alberta

Sunday, Nov. 3

  • 10:00 Fifth place: 3rd Pool A vs. 3rd Pool B
  • 12:00 Bronze medal: 2nd Pool A vs. 2nd Pool B
  • 14:00 Championship final: 1st Pool A vs. 1st Pool B

Note: All games will be played at TELUS-UL Stadium except those on Saturday, Nov. 2, which will be played on Field #11 behind Louis-Jacques-Casault Hall (on campus).

About Canadian Interuniversity Sport

Canadian Interuniversity Sport is the national governing body of university sport in Canada. Every year, 11,000 student-athletes and 700 coaches from 54 universities and four regional associations vie for 21 national championships in 12 different sports. CIS also provides high performance international opportunities for Canadian student-athletes at Winter and Summer Universiades, as well as numerous world university championships. For further information, visit or follow us on: