ANTIGONISH, N.S. — The St. FX X-Women avenged their shutout loss to Guelph in last year’s national final with a convincing 37-0 victory over the Gryphons in the gold-medal match of the 2012 Canadian university women’s rugby championship Sunday.
Playing in front of a partisan home crowd of over 5,000 blue-and-white-clad fans, the X-Women led 5-0 at halftime but exploding for 32 points after the break en route to the third CIS title in school history.
Ellen Murphy of Augstine Cove is a member of the St. F.X. squad.
The 15-time AUS conference champions were playing in a remarkable fifth straight CIS final, and their sixth in the last seven years. The X-Women were defeated 28-0 by Guelph in the 2011 title match.
St. FX captain Asya Bartley scored the lone try of the first half in the 17th minute before Tyson Beukeboom, Lisa Gauthier, with two, Tina Hansen, Amanda Thornborough and Allie Munroe added second-half tries, while Magali Harvey contributed a convert.
Beukeboom, a three-time AUS player of the year and three-time all-Canadian from Uxbridge, Ont., was named tournament MVP, while Thornborough earned game-MVP honours.
St. FX head coach Mike Cavanagh, named CIS coach of the year before the tournament, said the final score was deceiving.
“It was tough. I don’t think the score shows how good Guelph really played. The first half was touch-and-go right until the break,” said Cavanagh, whose team finished the season a perfect 13-0. “Guelph played like the champions they are, so it was a tough game.”
In the bronze-medal game, the Alberta Pandas defeated the Concordia Stingers 34-15.