by Mark Janzen, Rugby Canada
(ISN) – LANGFORD, British Columbia – For the second year in a row, the McMaster University Marauders women’s 7s side captured the National University Championship with a convincing 31-5 win in the Cup Final over the University of Victoria Blue unit Saturday at Westhills Stadium.
McMaster was the stronger side from the outset, scoring early and often to knock off the hometown Vikes side in impressive fashion.
First-year Ashley Gordon got the party started for the Marauders as she sliced through the Victoria defence early on, scoring inside the first two minutes to launch a McMaster attack that rarely slowed throughout the 20-minute contest.
From there, McMaster continued to roll and as they cruised to its second straight title with little resistance.
Shortly after her opening try, it was Gordon at it again as she took a tap and go herself from inside 10 metres and powered through the Victoria line right down broadway to give the Ontario outfit a 12-0 lead.
The Marauders continued to pour on the pressure as the first half waned, putting a third try on the scoreboard after Laura Morrison completed a brilliant run from 45 metres out that made it 17-0.
However, late in the first half, Victoria showed some life as Laura Crowe-Hutchon took the ball from inside her own half and out-ran McMaster’s Morrison down the right flank for a Vikes try to get the home side within 12 points, 17-5, at the break.
Early in the second half, Victoria possessed well, but a try by McMaster’s Sara Svoboda just before the six-minute mark snuffed out any hopes of a Vikes comeback and put the Marauders up 24-5.
Saffara Whitley-Hoffelner rounded out the Marauders scoring with a 50-metre run off the tap late in the second half.
McMaster, who finished the tournament with a 5-1 record, earned its place in the final after a 19-12 semifinal win over Lethbridge. The Marauders lone loss of the tournament came in the round robin against the Maple Leafs as they fell 27-12.
The Marauders won last year’s Cup Final thanks to a 24-7 win over Lethbridge in the championship tilt.
UVic secured its spot in the championship match after a 12-7 semifinal victory over mainland rival UBC. The Vikes Blue side finished the tournament with a 4-2 record.
Women’s Shield Winners – UVIC 2 (Yellow)
Women’s Bowl Winners – Queen’s
Women’s Plate Winners – Guelph
Women’s Cup Winners – McMaster
Women’s Dream Team:
Laura Crowe-Hutchon (UVIC 1)
Kara Loewen (Lethbridge)
Daria Keane (Guelph)
Moanda Anglo (Regina)
Amy Spears (Alberta)
Ciara Malone (UBC)
Sara Svoboda (McMaster)
Women’s Player of the Tournament:
Ashley Gordon (McMaster)