By: Kaylea Groover and Karl Kofmel

After finishing off the Humber Hawks in the rugby gold medal game, the Algonquin Thunder women’s team are now fighting to uphold their victory.

In a quickly rendered decision, the OCAA ruled the game was won by Humber after the first ten minute overtime had finished. The overtime confusion began when the referee couldn’t obtain a copy of the OCAA rules, so both teams agreed to the overtime format that was used.

“The scenario there is that the OCAA rule says one ten (minute overtime),” said athletic director of Algonquin College Ron Port. “They scored in the first ten and we scored in the second. It was agreed upon unbeknownst to me by the two parties prior to overtime.”

The athletic department is not taking this matter lying down. Both coaches and the athletic director are doing everything they can to bring the gold medal back to Algonquin.

“I have seven days with which to get the appeal in with all the pertinent information and it’ll go to the chair of the ways and means committee,” said Port. “From there they’ll have an answer for me within five working days or less.”

The decision was handed out the night of Nov. 19 after a quick discussion between the athletic director of Humber and the senior convenor.

“What happens is the athletic director at Humber protested,” said Port. “And the protest was upheld by the senior convener who is also from Humber.”

When asked if this was a conflict of interest Port continued, “Yeah. Yeah, but I mean it’s not really about that, it’s about the way the match was handled.”

This whole situation could have been avoided if everyone involved had followed procedure.

“The other thing too is when you’re hosting a championship, the senior convenor should be present because if anything like this happens he is the go-between,” said Port. “Part of his responsibility is, should there be any inquiries during a match, he’s to answer them. He wasn’t there. So the match went on.”

The game itself was an intense and emotionally driven match, where the Thunder played into stressful sudden death overtime where they eventually beat the Hawks, winning 16-13.

The game was equal competition as both teams were undefeated all season and allowed very few points – if any at all.

“It’s just too bad that a game of that magnitude and calibre which was probably the best (had to end that way),” said Port. “I mean we killed everybody. They killed everybody. We’ve got two giants coming together and they go at it and we play for 3 hours. And now it comes back to something that takes it back.”

With both teams being so dominant, it was only fitting that the game was so close.

Regardless of the outcome, the game itself was one for the ages and the experience is something Thunder head coach Jen Boyd says she hasn’t experienced before.

“I’ve been around rugby since 1994,” she said. “As a player I’ve played with the national team, I’ve coached senior women provincially, and grade nines. I’ve seen it all, nothing surprises me. But I’ve never been a part of something like this….ever.”

No matter if Algonquin’s appeal is overturned or rejected, the decision made will be final.

“It won’t be a re-game,” said Port. “It will go back to the original result.”

The OCAA has yet to release a statement regarding the status of the appeal.

Keep checking for updates and the complete story.