Guelph blanks McGill, will play in 3rd straight final


November 2, 2013, QUEBEC CITY (ISN) – The Guelph Gryphons qualified for the gold-medal final of the CIS womens’ rugby championship, presented by the Secrétariat à la Capitale-Nationale, thanks to a 31-0 victory against the McGill Martlets, Saturday morning at Laval University.

Crowned in 2011 and silver medallists a year ago, the Gryphons (2-0) finish atop the Pool A standings and will have a chance to claim their third Monilex Trophy, following their 2011 and 1998 triumphs. Sunday at 2 p.m., Guelph will play the winners of Saturday’s Pool B finale between Queen’s and Alberta.

The Martlets (1-1) will play for bronze at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday against the loser of the Gaels-Pandas match. McGill finished fourth in its last appearance at the national tournament in 2005 and won silver in 2000, its best result to date.

“We’re very pleased with the way our girls performed today,” shared Colette McAuley, head coach of the Gryphons. “We have a lot of respect for McGill because they’re conference champions, we know some of their back line from the national squad; they’re just tremendous players. We knew that they can attack with speed so what we did to counter attack that was increasing our line speed at defense and shut down some of their options and it worked out really well.”

“Guelph is a pretty strong team,” admitted McGill head coach Matt Stephens. “They came out with a purpose, they had amazing patterns and it took us off guard. We have a young team and we were not quite used to that. After the first 15 minutes, we got our legs under us and we actually improved throughout the game, which is really important for our young team.”

Click here to hear complete comments from both head coaches.

The Gryphons came out hard setting the tone right from the get-go. Only two minutes in, Shannon Spurrell of Haley Station, Ont., scored a try which she also converted to make it 7-0 for Guelph. Eight minutes later, Samantha Pepper of Turkey Point, Ont., broke through McGill’s defensive line to score a try and increase the lead to 12-0.

The OUA Shiels Division champions kept it up when they scored again ten minutes later thanks to some nice passing near McGill’s try line. Devon Keys of Newmarket, Ont., scored the try, which was then converted by Spurrell, making it 19-0.

The Martlets came close to putting points on the board at the 27-minute mark but Brianna Miller, the CIS MVP from Pointe-Claire, Que.,, missed her penalty kick attempt from the side of the 35-yard line.

The Gryphons didn’t let up in the second half against the RSEQ champions. Having gained possession of the ball at the start of the period, Guelph slowly but surely moved up into the Martlets territory. Megan Lowry of Barrie, Ont., scored Guelph’s fourth try with 42 minutes into the game, making it 24-0.

McGill struggled to generate offensive plays, often blocked by the Gryphons’ defense. Miller got another chance to put points on the board at the 45-minute mark but once again, missed her penalty kick attempt from the 41-yard line. Guelph responded by scoring its last try in the final minutes of the game, which was converted by Spurrell for a final score 31-0.

Spurrell, a centre player, was selected player of the match for Guelph, while the honour went to Deanna Foster of Caledon, Ont., for McGill.

Official championship website: 


  • GUE 19-12: 31
  • MCG 0-0: 0

First half

  • GUE– Shannon Spurrell try (Shannon Spurrell convert) 2nd (GUE 7 – MCG 0)
  • GUE – Samantha Pepper try 10th (GUE 12 – MCG 0)
  • GUE – Devon Keys try (Shannon Spurrell convert) 20th (GUE 19 – MCG 0)

Second half

  • GUE – Megan Lowry try 42nd (GUE 24 – MCG 0)
  • GUE – Shannon Spurrell try (Shannon Spurrell convert) 69e (GUE 31 – MCG 0)

Players of the game

  • GUE: Shannon Spurrell (Haley Station Ont.)
  • MCG: Deanna Foster (Caledon, Ont.)


  • Try: 5 points
  • Penalty goal: 3 points
  • Convert: 2 points


Pool A preliminary round

               GP W L T PF PA PTS

1. Guelph 2 2 0 0 68 12 10

2. McGill   2 1 1 0 19 41 4

3. StFX    2 0 2 0 22 56 0

Pool B preliminary round

               GP W L T PF PA PTS

1. Alberta  1 1 0 0 56 10 5

2. Queen’s 1 1 0 0 19 17 4

3. Laval    2 0 2 0 27 75 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: Alberta 56, Laval 10

Saturday, Nov. 2

  • 10:30 Pool A: Guelph 31, McGill 0
  • 13:30 Pool B: Queen’s vs. Alberta

Sunday, Nov. 3

  • 10:00 Fifth place: StFX vs. Laval
  • 12:00 Bronze medal: McGill vs. 2nd Pool B
  • 14:00 Championship final: Guelph 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

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