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Pictou County ruggers part of X-Women’s national title

Mackenzie Bell, Keely McCuish and Katie Pentz.
Mackenzie Bell, Keely McCuish and Katie Pentz. - Contributed

ANTIGONISH, NS – A trio of Pictou County ruggers have a national women’s university title in their back pockets.

Katie Pentz, Keely McCuish and Mackenzie Bell were part of the St. FX women’s rugby team that defeated the Guelph Gryphons 41-24 on Nov. 4 in Wolfville to win the 2018 U Sports women’s rugby championship, further solidifying St. FX’s place as a national rugby powerhouse.

While all three locals did not play in the championship tournament, McCuish said the experience was thrilling.

“It’s so exciting. The team is just one big family,” said the Trenton native, who is in her fourth year at St. FX and plans on playing one more season.

“The culture on the team is something that I've never experienced before.”

It was the sixth Canadian women’s rugby title in school history, the others coming in 2006, 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2016.

McCuish said despite the relatively lopsided score in St. FX’s three games, it was by no means an easy walk to the championship.

“It wasn’t easy at all,” she said. “Everyone put in a lot of work and there were no easy games, even though some of the scores seemed really high.”

Amelia Hatfield was the player of the game for St. FX, which has 19 Nova Scotians on its roster.

St. FX also posted a 42-21 win over Queen’s in the tournament and beat Laval 26-12.

Top-seeded Ottawa a 20-19 edged Laval in the bronze medal game.

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