The Keltics and Ontario Blues faced off July 15 in an exciting rugby match at King's-Edgehill School. If Ontario won, they were guaranteed the gold; if the Keltics won, they earned the right to play July 16 in hopes of defeating Quebec and claiming the Women's U20 Eastern Canada Rugby Championship title.
Ontario is known for its tough rugby teams, so the Keltics knew it wouldn't be an easy victory to secure.
“We wanted to make make sure that we were executing flawlessly so we needed to get off the line, we needed to make sure we were making tackles and we were completely rucking over the ball,” said Amber Davison, the Keltics' coach following the team's 34-26 victory. At half-time, they lead 19-14.
“We told the girls that if they did those things, they would come out on top. It was a challenge to them and they stepped up to the plate, and we came out on top.”
The July 11-16 tournament started with warm-up games from July 11-13, with Nova Scotia, Ontario and Quebec teams having the opportunity to play two games apiece.
Ontario then took on Quebec in the first single round robin game, and won 30-10.
Davison said the tournament to date has been great.
“The Town of Windsor has been lovely; King's-Edgehill has been very hospitable. Everyone has had a great experience not only on the field but off the field. We've had very competitive games,” she said.
The Keltics is comprised of the top rugby players from throughout the province — including some home-grown talent.
“I think Sam Lake — she's our captain — led us beautifully today; keeping composure on the field, making sure the girls knew their roles as we came to the field,” said Davison of the July 15 game.
“Alex Ondo is a phenomenal athlete — a great addition from the wing,” she said, adding, “Amber Mooney had incredible line speed that really allowed us to put pressure on Ontario throughout the whole game.”
Lake, who hails from Hants County, said the team has really come together over the week-long championship and credits their success over Ontario to perseverance.
“We saw it as a huge opportunity to prove who we are and I think we really capitalized on that opportunity,” said Lake.
“Our defence was incredible and I think that's what won us the game.”
If the Keltics win their noon match against Quebec July 16, they automatically take home the gold. If they lose, the judges will decide between the teams based on a points system, Lake said.
In the warm ups, the Keltics defeated Quebec and lost to Ontario. Both Davison and Lake said the team will be giving it their all on Sunday to ensure the win.
“We had a really hard-fought game against them earlier in the week and we're excited for a rematch because I think that they're the type of team to improve throughout the week. We're excited for the challenge,” said Davison.