The men’s rugby team came back from their first-round bye in full force, routing the Badgers in a 40-point victory. The win sends the Gaels to their ninth consecutive OUA gold medal game, where they will once again face the Guelph Gryphons.
The first try of the game was made by Queen’s prop Stefan Zuliani, just moments after he made a major defensive effort. Not even 10 minutes later, Zuliani scored once again, this time on an impressive 40-yard run. With two successful conversions, the Gaels were up 14-0.
The Gaels third try came late in the first half when eight man Liam Geddes took the ball from a scrum on the Brock five-yard line and brought within inches of the goal line. Then lock Trevor Helgason finished the job, grabbing the ball from the ruck and sneaking it past the Badgers. The score was 21-0 at halftime.
The second half saw lots of scoring on both sides of the ball. Queen’s continued to pour it on with a massive 45-yard run from scrum half Dylan Young. Two consecutive penalty tries followed for Queen’s, and their lead ballooned to 40-0.
Mere minutes after the Badgers finally got on the board with a try of their own, Captain Joshua Engelbrecht blocked a Brock kick out from inside their 22 and was able to scoop up the ricocheting ball and touch it down for Queen’s seventh try of the day.
Both teams would go on to score twice more before the end of the game.
Following the win, Head Coach Dave Butcher told The Journal, “The effort level and performance in the past week and in this game, I thought were very, very good.”
However, there are still some minor corrections the team is trying to make as they head into the OUA final.
“There were big parts of that game where everything we had been practicing really came out, it was just punctuated by sometimes where we tried to hit a home run on each phase which we don’t have to do,” Coach Butcher said.
“When we’re successful, it’s the stuff we do week in, week out that gets us where we need to be, so we just need to be cognizant of what success looks like for us in a game and not feel like we have to force the play sometimes.”
The gold medal game will take place on Nixon Field this Sunday at 1 p.m. as the Gaels try to secure their third consecutive OUA Championship.
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