Rouge et Or from Laval College | One thing like an important group

A total of 289 points scored, 0 points awarded. That’s how the Laval University Rouge et Or women’s rugby team performed after their first four games of the season. They are fast, powerful and combative, but it is above all the strength of the collective that explains the success of this team that assumes the aspect of a family.

Posted at 7 am.

Nicholas Richard

Nicholas Richard
The press

As an old saying goes, alone we go faster, but together we go further. A saying that applies perfectly to rugby. With little or no equipment, athletes collide with their health risk to advance together. They sacrifice themselves for players who wear the same uniform as them.

In Quebec, Rouge et Or players place great importance on this, and this is at the root of their success. Team spirit and the notion of collective were at the center of the exchanges when The press spoke to some of the players at the center of this phenomenon.

an overdose of talent

The identity of this formation was being built little by little. By force of rigor and discipline. Today, it imposes its own standards. “We are a team that cares about details on and off the field. That’s why we stand out”, says Marie-Pier Fauteux, third-tier player.

Ultimately, all formations do their best in the training room or in developing their strategy. However, it is the abundance of talent that sets Université Laval apart from its rivals. In addition, there is healthy competition within the team itself, which forces players to excel in training to be uniformed.


PHOTO PROVIDED BY ROUGE ET OR

Alice Theberge (center)

Your place is not guaranteed. In each training session, we fight for our place and we want to prove ourselves. It is with your attitude and your skills that you deserve your place.

Alice Théberge, newcomer to Rouge et Or

Furthermore, the group is so tight-knit and competitive that Audrey Champagne notes that after a while, the difference between rookies and veterans no longer exists. “Everyone has a lot of potential. Everyone is considered equal, so you want to force yourself to win your spot against everyone else. »

together to do better

If a fight exists daily on the ground, it’s not once the staples are put away. It’s rare to feel so much chemistry. That is why it is rare to witness such domination. “It’s not just the 15 girls on the field that can make a difference, it’s all the others who are on the bench or in the stands”, says side Adèle Samson.

Everyone has their word. That’s what makes Captain Laurence Chabot so happy. The 23-year-old is proud to be part of a group of leaders who contribute to the development of the collective.


PHOTO PROVIDED BY ROUGE ET OR

Captain Laurence Chabot

It’s like a family. You put your body on the line for your teammates. You have to love her, the girl next to you, otherwise you wouldn’t be intimidated. So it is certain that team cohesion and chemistry play a big role.

Laurence Chabot, team captain

From the coach’s point of view, it was important to highlight that the hallmark of a great team was the contribution capacity of each player. If success depended on the brilliance of a single player, specifies François Vachon-Marceau, things would be very different. “We don’t necessarily have a girl who does everything on the pitch. Our playstyle is based on the collective. With each game, we don’t know who will be the star of the game. »

like sisters

If Rouge et Or can boast of being so successful, it’s thanks to their players who play for more than their personal satisfaction.

Like a big family, they want to grow and grow together through victory. These student-athletes can see that there is something special about this 2022 edition. Something like a great team.


PHOTO PROVIDED BY ROUGE ET OR

Marie-Pier Fauteux (center)

“Having the same values ​​and the same goal helps us work together and necessarily, we connect more easily. It’s easier to have a rigid core,” says Marie-Pier Fauteux.

On the pitch, at team dinners, in the gym or in classes, each player knows she can count on all her teammates. Especially since they all play together in the summer, at a civilian club. They therefore live together for 12 months out of 12, and evolving within such a group is not just an opportunity, “it’s an honor”, ​​add Audrey Champagne and Adèle Samson.

“It’s a team, a family. It’s not just the victories that make this team so good, it’s precisely our team spirit and the fact that we get along so well that allows us to succeed”, says Champagne.

The proximity between players does not necessarily make passes more successful or shots more accurate, but it certainly contributes to the feeling of belonging that nourishes them. One victory at a time, they prove that there is nothing more powerful than the strength of the collective.

ceasing to dominate

With a record like that of Rouge et Or and the overwhelming results that players impose on their opponents every week, many will say it’s a little sad to see such a difference between the different programs. According to some, players must produce fewer points to remain respectful towards their opponents.

However, while manager François Vachon-Marceau finds it regrettable that there is such a disparity between certain teams, he specifies that in a sport like rugby, it is impossible to ask your players to accumulate less or convert and concede more. “It remains that we practice a contact sport and we cannot attack in half. The objective is not to crush the other teams, but to do the best we can. You can’t just turn the dial like in hockey or do more runs like in football. »

Laurence Chabot agrees. By putting herself in her rivals’ shoes, she argues that it would be even more humiliating to lower their level of play. “We can’t play at 50% and personally, being the other team, I think it’s more disrespectful that we stop playing, that we lower our level of play and that we take him a little out of pity. The team in front of us expects us to play 100%, just as we expect them to play 100%. Then it’s a contact sport, a strategy sport, and you can’t execute your strategy 50%. »

Quebec, capital of rugby


PHOTO PROVIDED BY ROUGE ET OR

Audrey-Champagne

There is no doubt that the national capital is the birthplace of rugby in Quebec. Université Laval has become a talent production factory and its success is the result of a structure worthy of the best teams in the world.

There are many factors that can explain why Rouge et Or has become arguably the best women’s rugby team in Quebec and perhaps Canada. Canadian Champions in 2019, Provincial Champions in 2021 and with four draws in as many games since the start of this campaign, Université Laval players are aware that they are evolving in an environment conducive to excellence.

We have very good quality trainers, a very nice training room, access to physiotherapists and state-of-the-art equipment. Admittedly, sometimes it weighs in the balance to know which university the players will go to.

Adele Samson, rear of Rouge et Or

Like Samson, Audrey Champagne grew up in Quebec. She knew, therefore, that Laval University was the perfect place to ensure her development. Now that she’s played for her childhood team for three seasons, she realizes how lucky she and her teammates are. “Our success also comes from our entire team who are exceptional, both the coaches and physios and the board, who put a lot of time and effort into ensuring our success. It’s their dedication that keeps them at a high level and makes you want to push yourself to achieve your goals. »


PHOTO PROVIDED BY ROUGE ET OR

Université Laval rugby players are aware that they evolve in an environment conducive to excellence.

The program’s ability to raise its standards is even more impressive, thinks Laurence Chabot, because when it arrived five years ago, the team wasn’t as dominant as it is today. “The program was really emerging and started to gain more importance at the provincial and Canadian level,” added the captain.

a palpable interest

It was after the team’s 2019 Canadian Championship victory that the tide turned, again according to Chabot. “I felt there was more interest. “Whether in your entourage, among the other Rouge et Or teams or the students who attend the university. “It’s as if people were wondering who we were and what we did. She confirms that wasn’t so much the case when she joined the team in 2018.

Champagne also believes the title from three years ago was a game-changer. In the eyes of others, this team now had added value. Since then, interest not only in the team, but also in rugby, has only increased. “And then this year, with all the victories we’ve chained with big scores, it brings us even more visibility. »

The strength of a city

Over the years, Quebec City has established itself as the province’s rugby mecca. Not only is the player pool impressive, but the additional infrastructure ensures that they develop brilliantly.

Among the players of the Canadian team that will travel to New Zealand to play in the World Cup in October, five have already passed through the Rouge et Or. Quebec and surroundings.

“Development in our region is working well. The girls are used to playing together, so that also develops the collective and we have a formula that works well”, said coach François Vachon-Marceau.

Alice Théberge also confirms that “development in Quebec has a good advantage over other cities”. She believes it’s because the rugby community is rich there that everyone in it stands up. “Here, in Quebec, it’s a very big family. There is more and more supervision from an early age and it has many effects. It’s when it’s well framed that you like it. »

Rugby occupies a special place in the region and, according to the players, it is possibly thanks to results like those released by Rouge et Ou this season that the wheel will continue to spin faster and faster.

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