Third-year Olivia Roberge against the Marauders. MICHAEL CHAHLEY/THE VARISTY

The University of Toronto Varsity Blues women’s rugby team fell 71-0 to the McMaster Marauders on a rainy and cold evening on Saturday at the Varsity Centre.

McMaster’s Stephanie Black started the game off strong for her team, with a try in just the first minute and a half of the game. Black was quickly followed by two more tries from teammates Sarah Farquharson and Emily Ricketts, raising their lead to 15-0.

Bianca Marchione

Bianca Marchione

Even with McMaster on the scoreboard early, the Varsity Blues never stopped fighting. Once half time turned, however, Toronto maintained a stubborn defense of their goal line: preventing the Marauders’ attacks, and denying them further scoring opportunities. At this point in the game, the teams’ offenses were switching quickly back and forth between one another. Even when there were only 10 minutes left on the board, and the Blues were trailing 67-0, they continued fighting to prevent being shut-out.

Speaking after the game, Varsity Blues head coach Gareth Williams said: “The score does not reflect our performance and potential. With that being said, there were no highlights for us today. We are going to go back and capitalize our mistakes and work at them.”

With the Blues’ weaknesses being clear in this match, Williams added that: “McMaster played a great game, but we are still a work-in-progress; we still need to instill more urgency, defense, and quick reaction into our girls. We will also continue to work on our organization, just like we have been for the past month.”


“It’s a young team,” Williams added. “Only four girls won’t be coming back next year to play with us. This gives us a lot of room to grow and develop, both as a team and as individual players.”

Even with no wins to their name so far this season, the Varsity Blues have hope that they will improve in their remaining games. The Blues will play next against Queen’s University on Saturday, September 28.

Stay up to date. Sign up for our weekly newsletter, sent straight to your inbox:

* indicates required