Join the Scrum: uOttawa hosts Women’s Rugby National Championships

Posted on Monday, October 28, 2019

Caucus d'encouragement de l'équipe féminine de rugby

Everything you need to know to be a Gee-Gees super fan.

The top eight university women’s rugby teams from across the country will be in Ottawa October 30 to November 3 battling it out for U SPORTS national rugby title. Purchase your tickets for what promises to be one of the best uOttawa sporting events of the year.

What’s the big deal?

The Gee-Gees are playing to regain their National Champion title on home turf! The women's rugby team is among the most dominant in the nation. With appearances at the past five U SPORTS championships, the team has medaled at the last four—including their national championship victory in 2017.

Joueuse de rugby tenant le ballon

How to be a good fan!

We heard you at Panda, and now it’s time to show your school spirit and cheer on our ladies rugby team. Paint your face, bring encouraging signs, and maybe some noise. Remember, rugby is a team sport – and that includes you, #GGNation!

Tips to enjoy the games (hint: dress warm)

It’s mid-fall, so layers are a must! Think long johns, thermal undershirts and fleece sweaters. Along with a warm jacket you might also want to consider bringing one blanket to sit on and one to cover your lap. Games are rain or shine, so don’t forget your waterproof gear!

Expect some fierce competition

The tournament’s eight teams are the top from across Canada. UBC and Calgary are flying in from the West. While St FX (last year’s champs) and Acadia (last year’s host) are flying in from the East. Expect big crowds from Guelph and Queen’s from the OUA conference, and our RSEQ league rivals Laval.

Jeu de rugby féminin en cours

How rugby works

If you don’t know your ruck from your scrum, have no fear! Here are a few basics.

Like most sports, the team with the most points at the end of the game wins. Rugby matches consist of two forty-minute halves, with a ten-minute rest between. Each team has 15 players on the field, and the ball is moved up the field by running or passing – but the ball cannot be passed forward. Teams can also kick the ball forward down the field at any time.

A 5-point try is achieved when a team places the ball on the ground in their opponent’s endzone. It’s possible to cross the line but not be able to place the ball on the line if a defending player holds you so that you cannot touch the ground with the ball. In that case, there is no try – just great defence!

When a team scores a try there is an automatic conversion attempt, which is a free kick. The angle of the kick depends on where the try was scored – it’s an easier kick if you score the try in the middle of the field, which is why you sometimes see a player run to the middle of the endzone before placing the ball. On the conversion kick, if the ball makes it through the uprights, 2 points are awarded. Teams can also earn 3 points with a penalty kick and 3 points with drop goals, which is when a player dropkicks the ball between the goal posts during play (the ball must bounce first before the kick!)

That’s all the ways of scoring points but there is lots of other action to keep track out with lineouts (when the players pick each-other up to get a ball thrown in from the sideline), mauls (when the players all get together in a pack and push forward by kicking the ball slowly), and pick-and-gos (short plays when you are trying to power over the line by taking turns picking up the ball and diving forward). Don’t worry if you don’t understand every time the whistle blows – the game is fun and it’s easy to tell who is doing well!

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