StFX downs host Laval to finish fifth


November 3, 2013, QUEBEC CITY (ISN) – The St. Francis Xavier X-Women, Monilex Trophy champions a year ago, ended the CIS women’s rugby championship, presented by the Secrétariat à la Capitale-Nationale, on a good note thanks to a 45-20 fifth-place victory against the host Laval Rouge et Or, Sunday morning at the TELUS-Université Laval Stadium.

The fifth position ends a remarkable run at the CIS tournament for the 16-time AUS champions, who had played in each of the last five national finals, including triumphs in 2012 and 2010. The last time the X-Women had finished out of the top four was in 2005, when they also placed fifth.

As for the Rouge et Or, who were hosting the event for the first time, they end the tournament in sixth place after winning bronze in their last appearance in 2011.

StFX and Laval were facing off on Sunday morning after both going 0-2 in pool play.

“We just wanted to improve on our performance. It’s not an easy game to get up for,” admitted StFX head coach Matt Cavanagh. “We did a lot of things better in this game, we tackled a bit better, our scrimmaging was good, so I’m very happy with the way we played.”

Said Rouge et Or head coach Bill McNeil: “We made some basic mistakes that cost us five points right from the get-go. Missed tackles, missed passes, you just can’t get away with these things at a national championship.” McNeil was still satisfied with his team’s overall performance this week. “It’s the end of a tough season. I still think that we proved that we could compete.”

Click here to hear complete comments from both head coaches: 

The X-Women opened the scoring seven minutes into the game. Natalie Lesco of London, Ont., broke through Laval’s back line’s defence for the try, which was successfully converted by Sabrina McDaid of Scarborough, Ont., to make it 7-0 for St. Francis Xavier.

The AUS champs added to their lead at the 15-minute mark when Jaelei Meyer of Carlyle, Sask., chased and recovered her teammates’ chip into the end zone.

StFX pushed through again three minutes later. This time it was Lesco’s turn to score the try. McDaid found the uprights once again, making it 21-0 for the X-Women.

Twenty-nine minutes into the first half, StFX added its fourth try off a nice series of passes deep in Laval territory. Wing Lauren Agnew of Stittsville, Ont., scored to bring the score to 26-0.

At the 38-minute mark, Laval finally broke through StFX’s defence. Following a nice breakaway run by Marie Thibault of Quebec City, the play moved close along the try line until Laurence Laberge-Plante, also of Quebec City, scored to give the locals their first five points.

In the second half, both sides were eager to open up the play.

In the 49th minute, Lesco scored her third try of the match. Sabrina McDaid successfully converted the try, making it 33-5.

Laval didn’t give up and responded quickly with a series of passes that led Julie Morin of Arthabaska, Que., into the end zone. Claudia Kedney-Bolduc of Levis, Que., successfully converted the try to cut the deficit to 33-12.

The game of cat and mouse continued late into the contest. Two missed tackles allowed Danielle Robb of Shawinigan Lake, Ont., to break away and find the end zone at the 55-minute mark, making 38-12 for StFX.

Three minutes later, Laval capitalized on a penalty opportunity, as Kedney-Bolduc successfully kicked the ball between the uprights from the 27-yard line.

At the 65-minute mark, StFX’s Vanessa Duffley of Belleisle, N.-B., scored a try, followed by another successful convert by McDaid. The host team immediately crossed the field as Kathleen Keller of Quebec City outstepped StFX to make her way into the end zone and score a try.

Center Kathleen Keller was named player of the match for Laval. Fly-half and kicker Sabrina McDaid received the honour for the winners.

Official championship website: 


  • StFX 26-19: 45
  • LAV 5-15: 20

First half

  • StFX – Natalie Lesco try (Sabrina McDaid convert) 7th (LAV 0 – StFX 7)
  • StFX – Jaelei Meyer try (Sabrina McDaid convert) 15th (LAV 0 – StFX 14)
  • StFX – Natalie Lesco try (Sabrina McDaid convert) 18th (LAV 0 – StFX 21)
  • StFX – Lauren Agnew try 29th (LAV 0 – StFX 26)
  • LAV – Laurence Laberge-Plante try 38th (LAV 5 – StFX 26)

Second half

  • StFX – Natalie Lesco try (Sabrina McDaid convert) 49th (LAV 5 – StFX 33)
  • LAV – Julie Morin try (Claudia Kedney-Bolduc convert) 51st (LAV 12 – StFX 33)
  • StFX – Danielle Robb try 55th (LAV 12 – StFX 38)
  • LAV – Claudia Kedney-Bolduc penalty kick 58th (LAV 15 – StFX 38)
  • StFX – Vanessa Duffley try (Sabrina McDaid convert) 65th (LAV 15 – StFX 45)
  • LAV – Kathleen Keller try 71st (LAV 20 – StFX 45)

Players of the game

  • StFX: Sabrina McDaid (Scarborough, Ont.)
  • LAV: Kathleen Keller (Quebec City, Que.)


Try: 5 points

Penalty goal: 3 points

Convert: 2 points


Pool A preliminary round (FINAL)

                 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 (FINAL)

                  GP W L T PF PA PTS

1. Alberta    2 2 0 0 88 22 10

2. Queen’s   2 1 1 0 31 49 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: Alberta 32, Queen’s 12

Sunday, Nov. 3

  • 10:00 Fifth place: StFX 45, Laval 20
  • 12:00 Bronze medal: McGill vs. Queen’s
  • 14:00 Championship final: Guelph vs. Alberta

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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