Antigonish, NS - On a warm fall afternoon at Oland Stadium the Acadia Axewomen felt the heat of the U SPORTS No. 1 ranked StFX X-Women as the home squad played to a 57-14 win, improving to 3-0 on the season and taking sole possession of first place in the AUS standings over the nationally ranked No. 10 Axewomen (2-1).
The first half display was equal parts strength and skill. The scrum was powerful and created the opportunity for the X-Women to put five tries on the board. Acadia had a difficult time against the impressive StFX eight-women unit. The second half was a more open affair with Acadia better able to show their speed and skill, however, StFX proved too much on this occasion.
The first try of the match foreshadowed a difficult opening half for the Axewomen.
The opening kick-off did not go the required ten meters, and an Acadia player picked up the ball and was tackled into touch, resulting in an X-Women line-out. The X-Women methodically worked through the phases and Number 8, Miranda Sample (Havelock, QC), touched down for the first try of the match.
The X-Women added to their lead soon after with Sam Lake (Windsor, NS) scoring under the posts. Scrum half Alison Blanchard (Herring Cove, NS) next touched down for the X-Women when she picked up the ball at the back of a scrum, followed by Joanna Alphonso's (Ajax, ON) first of three tries. Rookie outside-centre Danielle Franada (Grand Prairie, AB) converted three of the tries as the X-Women took an early 26-0 lead.
Acadia responded when their scrum half, Nicole Pahl (Markham, ON), who played an excellent game, scored their team's first try. Laura Pflleiderer (Williams Lake, BC) kicked the conversion.
The first half ended just as it began, with an X-Women try. After Blanchard was held up and unable to touch the ball down, the subsequent scrum led to Sample picking up the ball from the base of the scrum and quickly touching the ball down. The X-Women held a 31-7 advantage at halftime.
The second half began with another Alphonso try, who made a nice move off an X line-out. In general, the half was a much more open affair, which was much more to the liking of Acadia's skillful players.
Annie Kennedy (Kingston, ON), always a positive force at fly-half, enjoyed much more possession. Her quality play was rewarded when she scored Acadia's second try of the game, with the conversion once again going to Laura Pfleiderer.
The Acadia backs, especially Emilie Merilainen (Batawa, ON), showed real flair in attack as well putting in some big tackles for the visitors. The StFX backs, not to be outdone, also showed their attacking vigour.
X-Women winger June Beals (North Preston, NS), who consistently showed great positional sense and quick feet, touched down twice in the half. The final try was scored by Subway Player of the Game, Joanna Alphonso, who scored her third try and converted once again by Franada, who ended up with six conversions and 12 points on the afternoon.
The X-Women outscored the Axewomen 26-7 in the second half for the 57-14 final. Next up on the AUS schedule sees Acadia home to Saint Mary's next Sunday, October 1st at 2:00 pm. StFX host UPEI also on Sunday at 2:00 pm to close StFX Homecoming weekend.
Courtesy Bart Sears, StFX Athletics Communciations
ACA 7-7: 14
StFX 31-26: 57
StFX – Miranda Sample try (Danielle Franada convert), 2nd minute
StFX – Sam Lake try (Danielle Franada convert), 6th minute
StFX – Alison Blanchard try, 15th minute
StFX – Joanna Alphonso try (Danielle Franada convert), 19th minute
ACA – Nicole Pahl try (Laura Pfleiderer convert), 31st minute
StFX – Miranda Sample try, 39th minute
StFX – Joanna Alphonso try, 42nd minute
ACA – Annie Kennedy try (Laura Pfleiderer convert), 65th minute
StFX – June Beals try (Danielle Franada convert), 69th minute
StFX – June Beals try (Danielle Franada convert), 74th minute
StFX – Joanna Alphonso try (Danielle Franada convert), 78th minute
Subway Player of the game
StFX: Joanna Alphonso (Ajax, ON)
Try: 5 points
Penalty goal: 3 points
Convert: 2 points