Martlets beat StFX, defending champs out of medal contention


November 1, 2013, QUEBEC CITY (ISN) – The McGill Martlets opened their CIS women’s rugby championship journey with a 19-10 win over the St. Francis Xavier X-Women at TELUS-Université Laval stadium on Friday morning, eliminating the defending Monilex Trophy titlists from medal contention.

The Martlets (1-0), who are looking for their first national title and are playing in their first CIS tournament since 2005, will face the Guelph Gryphons (1-0) Saturday at 10:30 a.m. to determine the first place in Group A.

As for the X-Women (0-2), who lost their opening Pool A duel 37-12 against Guelph Thursday morning, they will play for fifth position Sunday at 10 a.m. against the third-place finishers from Pool B.

“We were really nervous to start the game,” admitted McGill head coach Matt Stephens. “The girls just battled through it and it was great that they were able to withstand the pressure because StFX has a really good team. I was really happy with that.”

StFX’s bench boss, Mike Cavanagh, talked about mistakes his team couldn’t afford to make in order to win. “We missed some key tackles and every time we missed they made us pay. They are a good team. We played a little bit better today but at the end, if you are not making your first up tackle, you won’t beat any good team.”

Click here to hear complete comments from both head coaches: 

The first part of the game was marked by big defensive plays. The X-Women approached the try zone twice but each time, 2013 CIS MVP Brianna Miller of Pointe-Claire, Que., saved the day for McGill with great clearance kicks.

Miller’s defensive play eventually helped McGill open the score. At the 17th minute, centre Caroline Suchorski of Kirkland, Que., scored the first try of the game after a good run. The convert from Miller was good and the Martlets were up 7-0.

The X-Women, who dominated in terms of ball possession in the first half, saw their efforts pay off on the 25-minute mark. A strong scrum by StFX at the in-goal line resulted in a try from Miranda Sample of Havelock, Que. The convert was missed however and the RSEQ conference champions kept the lead, at 7-5.

The Martlets were quick to add to their advantage in the second half. At the 36th minute, McGill players managed to outrun the X-Women defence, allowing Suchorski to score her second try of the morning. After Miller’s convert, it was 14-5 in favour of McGill.

Emma Taylor of Scotsburn, N.S., gave hope to StFX with five minutes to play by flattening the ball in McGill’s in-goal zone. The try was not converted and it was still 14-10 for the Martlets.

McGill sealed the win less than two minutes later with a try from Deanna Foster of Caledon, Ont., at the end of a spectacular 50-yard run down the left sideline. The score gave the Martlets a comfortable 19-10 lead, which was enough to get the four points.

Suchorski was selected player of the game for McGill. Prop Tasha McKensie of Indian Brook, N.S., received the same honour for StFX.

Official championship website: 


  • McG 7-12: 19
  • StFX 5-5: 10

First half

  • MCG – Caroline Suchorski try (Brianna Miller convert) 17th (StFX 0 – MCG 7)
  • StFX – Miranda Sample try 25th (StFX 5 – MCG 7)

Second half

  • MCG – Caroline Suchorski try (Brianna Miller convert) 36th (StFX 5 – MCG 14)
  • StFX – Emma Taylor try 65th (StFX 10 – MCG 14)
  • MCG – Deanna Foster try 67th (StFX 10 – MCG 19)

Players of the game

  • McG: Caroline Suchorski (Kirkland, Que.)
  • StFX: Tasha McKensie (Indian Brook, NS)


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   1       1     0   0   19   10     4

3. StFX     2       0     2   0   22   56     0

Pool B preliminary round

                  GP   W   L   T   PF   PA   PTS

1. Queen’s   1     1    0    0   19   17     4

2. Alberta    0     0    0    0    0    0       0

3. Laval       1     0    1    0   17   19     1

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 19, Laval 17

Friday, Nov. 1

  • 10:30 Pool A: McGill 19, StFX 10
  • 13:30 Pool B: Laval vs. Alberta

Saturday, Nov. 2

  • 10:30 Pool A: Guelph vs. McGill
  • 13:30 Pool B: Queen’s vs. Alberta

Sunday, Nov. 3

  • 10:00 Fifth place: StFX 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).

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