Strong start for men's rugby

Gaels blow out Waterloo Warriors on the road

Lucas Rumball (centre) has been an integral part of the Gaels for the last four years.
Lucas Rumball (centre) has been an integral part of the Gaels for the last four years.
Credit: 
Supplied by Ian MacAlpine

Picking up where they left off last year, the men’s rugby team made a statement on the road  last Sunday as they earned a 71-17 victory over the Waterloo Warriors.

While starting a season on the road could be seen as a deterrent, the Gaels faced that challenge with experience and overcame it. 

“Things are different, you’re not at your own house, you’re in a hotel, and you’re not as comfortable with your surroundings,” said Lucas Rumball, last year’s captain and back row. 

During the afternoon, winger Kainoa Llyod led the team’s scoring efforts, earning four tries and 20 points. This victory stands in contrast to the 32-10 loss to Penn State University that the team suffered in a friendly match a week prior. 

“We definitely played much better than we did in our pre-season game against Penn State,” Rumball said. “Our guys got together a little more, had a couple extra days of practice, but still, lots of stuff to work on, but happy with the result.”

While Llyod was the leader of the offensive efforts throughout the game, Rumball believes it was a full team effort, citing strong efforts from Will McArthur and Dylan Young.

Young and McArthur both kicked for conversions throughout the game. Young had five conversions and McArthur had three.

While the team is pleased with the result of the last game, they’re aware that upcoming matches might present a more difficult task. 

“We definitely have some tougher matches coming up, we’re going right into a repeat of the OUA final this Sunday, similar to last season’s schedule with us playing Guelph very early on,” Rumball said. 

“But we just take it one week at a time, one opponent at a time, and our philosophy is to always get better no matter who we are playing, there’s always things to work on.”

Looking forward to the Gael’s upcoming game against Guelph, Rumball sees some improvements the team needs to make. 

“Our structures and systems are looking good, the individual skills that will allow us to play the best rugby within our structure is what we need to work on: tackling, passing, simple stuff,” he said.  

It isn’t uncommon for a team to struggle with the basic skills when they first come back to a new season. 

“You see it a lot at the start of the season, guys maybe haven’t been doing it as much or they haven’t been as focused in this specific structure, so moving forward this stuff will improve, it just takes time and we’ve only really had three or four days now together as a unit.” 

“Coming into the Guelph game we’re just looking to fix the stuff we did poorly against Waterloo and come together even tighter as a unit and put a good show on.” 

The Gaels face off against the Gryphons, on Guelph’s home turf, on September 11 at 1 p.m.

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