It’s always difficult to beat the same opponent in back-to-back games, but the McMaster women’s rugby team handled the York Lions 37-0 in Ontario University Athletics quarter-final play on Friday (Oct. 11). The victory comes a week after McMaster defeated York 64-7 in the regular season finale to gain home field advantage in the opening playoff round.
Playing under the lights at Ron Joyce Stadium, the Marauders grabbed an early lead on a penalty goal by Stephanie Black and a try from Heidi Henderson to make the score 10-0 before the game was 10 minutes old. The Marauders continued to pressure the visiting Lions and scored tries by Jenn Lemon and Cindy Nelles to take a 20-0 lead after the first half.
The second half saw more Marauder momentum with Saffara Whitely-Hoffelner, Lauren Crampton and Stephanie Black all crossing the touch-line for McMaster. Black was the top scorer on the night with 12 points.
McMaster put up a stiff defense to stifle the York attack and kept the Lions off the scoreboard.
Currently ranked ninth in Canadian Interuniversity Sport top-ten, the Marauders now advance to play the Guelph Gryphons in the OUA semi-finals on Oct. 19 in Guelph.
The Gryphons are ranked second in Canada and finished league play undefeated, but faced their closest challenge from McMaster on Sept. 28, before gaining a 44-27 win. That result should give the Marauders some confidence heading into the semi-final, signalling that they can play with the perennial powerhouse from Guelph.