When the Brock Badgers (1-3) met the men’s rugby team on Saturday, it was a bad day from the start.
The Gaels dominated the Badgers at home, shutting them out with a 109-0 win. It’s the most points Queen’s has recorded in a match since the 2014-15 sason, when they beat U of T 113-0.
“That’s probably the best game I’ve seen the Queen’s team play in terms of overall performance,” second-year head coach Dave Butcher told The Journal in a post-game interview, noting his team has started to turn a corner with regards to their play this season.
Ranked first in the province, the Gaels are officially halfway through their season—maintaining the talent that carried them to OUA gold last season with a 4-0 record.
Against Brock, 12 different Gaels touched down for a try while conceding zero points to their opponents. The result gave them the best defensive record in the OUA. They currently average a mere nine points against per match.
Next weekend, Queen’s is away to take on the Guelph Gryphons—the only other team in the OUA who matches the Gaels’ undefeated record. Last year, the Gaels met the Gryphons in the OUA final and were victorious in a 62-17 win, claiming back the rights to a title they lost in 2016-17.
This year, they appear to be on the path of repeating history.
In their past two matches, Queen’s has scored 209 points, which is more than Guelph mustered all season (188). Queen’s leads the OUA with a total of 335 points this season. Queen’s also trumps Guelph defensively with total points against—the Gaels have only given up 36 points while the Gryphons have allowed 50.
Butcher has no worries about what Guelph intends to do to Queen’s come Saturday.
“We’re exactly where we wanted to be in the season and we’ll perform exactly the way we wanted to,” he said. “I think it’s under our control how we play.”
He said the Gaels are going to have to keep the ball out of Guelph’s hands if they want a successful outing.
“We know that if we keep the ball for 60 per cent possession and get the speed of the game right then we usually get success and we’ll take care of ourselves.”
They reach the halfway point in their schedule, he said the game was a benchmark for the season. But this benchmark is one of many. The team has several internal benchmarks that they work to hit every game.
“We’re satisfied with the win, but we’re always going to out and try to be a bit better next week,” he said.
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