Gryphons hold rugby Marauders in check

The Marauder women’s rugby team gave a spirited effort – but in defeat – on Saturday afternoon (Sept. 28). McMaster trailed by only two points at the half before eventually succumbing to the Canadian Interuniversity Sport No. 1-ranked Guelph Gryphons, 44-27.

Photo: Fraser Caldwell/McMaster Athletics

The Marauders, now 2-2 in Ontario University Athletics, were bumped into a tie with York for second in the Russell Division with the loss, but retain their position on the basis of point differential.

Guelph was forced to battle for the first time this season as McMaster kept the game close through 40 minutes. Senior winger Madolyn Vande Pol scored all of her team-high 10 points in the opening half, twice breaking through for a try. Team captain Cindy Nelles had a try as well, and Stephanie Black connected on a convert as McMaster entered the break trailing, 19-17.

The Gryphons, however, demonstrated the strength that has earned them the nation’s first seed in the second half. Centre Shannon Spurrell accumulated 10 points in the period on two converts and two penalty goals, while Samantha Pepper, Rita Charest-Pekeski and Devon Keys each added tries as Guelph pulled away.

Black scored five points in the second half on a convert and a penalty goal, while winger Rina Charalampis earned a consolation try.

The Marauders will play their final conference game on Sunday, Oct. 6, when they welcome the York Lions to McMaster. That game will get underway at noon.