FLEMING WINS FIRST-EVER OCAA WOMEN’S RUGBY CHAMPIONSHIP
The Fleming Knights narrowly bested the Humber Hawks with a score of 34-33 for their first OCAA women’s rugby title. The tense and exciting match was finally settled in penalty kicks after the teams tied in both regulation play and overtime. The Hawks fought hard against a challenging opponent, earning them silver medals.
The back and forth match was exciting and tense for players and fans alike. Both team’s offensive lines were out in full force at the beginning of the match. The play was back and forth for the first 20 minutes until Fleming managed to score the first try of the game.
Fleming’s score invigorated the Hawks players. Humber’s Christina Branch was able to exploit a small opening in Fleming’s defensive line. She sprinted ahead of the pack and into the Knights end zone scoring Humber’s first try of the game. Lauren Congdon kicked the convert bringing the score to 7-5 for Humber. Fleming, not wanting Humber’s lead to stand, quickly managed its second try of the game, bringing the score to 10-7 for the Knights.
Humber and Fleming alike were fighting hard towards the end of the first half. Branch, scorer of Humber’s first try managed once again to fight through Knight’s territory scoring yet another try. With only minutes left in the first half Humber’s Congdon managed another try for the team bringing the score at the end of the first to 22-10.
The dawn of the second half seemed to breathe new life into Fleming. Though they were down 12 points they fought hard dominating possession of the ball. The Hawks defensive line was pushed to their breaking point by the relentless Knights. Fleming scored two tries in the beginning of the second half cutting the score to 22-20 for Humber. With only a two-point margin and still anyone’s game both teams and the fans alike were feeling the intense pressure.
Fleming’s offensive was brutal, hardly allowing Humber to touch the ball. The Hawks strong defensive players did a good job fending off the advancing team, however, with only eight minutes left in the game, the Knights were able to score yet another try giving them a 27-22 lead. Just when it looked like it might all be over for Humber, the team was able to find an opening in Fleming’s defence scoring yet another try and tying the game with only minutes left on the clock.
After a tie in regulation play the game was forced into overtime. The teams face off once again in two more seven minute halves. The first half was uneventful with neither team scoring any points and few offensive threats. The second half was anxious, as the minutes counted down each team got more and more desperate to score the final try and win the game. With five minutes left on the clock Fleming was able to breakaway and score yet another try bringing the score to 32-27. It seemed to be the end for the Hawks but a final strong offensive move by Christina Branch tied up the game with only seconds left on the clock.
With the score tied once again the winner now would now be determined through penalty kicks. Fleming took the first kick missing the goal posts. Humber’s Logan McGilvray was able to make her first kick. In the second round of kicks Humber missed and Fleming made it. The teams were now tied 1-1, Humber missed its kick in the third round. Fleming was able to make it winning gold.
Despite the disappointing loss Humber played a good game and had a very strong season overall. “The girls played well,” said Humber head coach Dale Essue. “We had 21 rookies on the field in their first championship game. I can’t say anymore than that. They played an amazing game, the main thing is to learn from this experience and come back next year.”
Source: Humber College