Rugby rebounds well from loss

Men erase Wednesday’s loss by trouncing Trent

Queen’s captain Rory Connolly stops Trent in their tracks as Jordan Dodds looks on.
Queen’s captain Rory Connolly stops Trent in their tracks as Jordan Dodds looks on.

It was a busy week for the varsity men’s rugby team. After defeating U of T in Toronto on Saturday, the Gaels had just two practices to prepare for a Wednesday road trip to Ottawa where they took on the Carleton Ravens.

In a replay of last season’s OUA bronze medal game, the Ravens once again came out on top, winning by a final score of 13-6. Then on Sunday Queen’s pushed its record for the season to 3-1 with a dominant 43-0 victory over the Trent Excalibur.

The Gaels’ performance against Carleton was reminiscent of the team’s first two games of the season, where they controlled the ball for the majority of the game but failed to capitalize on their scoring chances. Queen’s Captain Rory Connolly described the game as a series of missed opportunities.

“In the first half alone, there were five times when we had the ball inside their 22-metre line with an overlap,” he said. “But we couldn’t get the ball over the try-line.”

While the Queen’s defence held the Ravens to just one try and a pair of penalties, the Gaels’ efforts were negated when they consistently lost possession in the tight play.

“We only retained the ball 60 per cent of the time when we took it into contact,” Connolly said. “You can’t beat a team like Carleton with that sort of ball retention.”

After the tough loss in Ottawa, the team headed back to Kingston for another three-day break before playing host to the Trent Excalibur on Sunday.

Queen’s coach Pete Huigenbos used Sunday’s game as an opportunity to unveil a backs line that featured several changes from the team’s first three games. The revamped back line proved to be a catalyst for the Gaels, who ran in seven tries against their overmatched opposition.

Huigenbos was happy with the performance of his new lineup, and with the overall intensity of his team. “I thought our level of effort was a lot better than it was against Carleton,” he said.

The Queen’s coach was quick to give credit to first-year scrum-half Bryn Davies and second-year forward Niall Kirby, who both made their debuts on the varsity team against Trent.

“Those guys came up and gave us a big boost,” he said. “They did exactly what we needed them to do.”

After playing three games in nine days, the Gaels will have two weeks off before they face the Western Mustangs on Oct. 8. That game will be followed by a visit to Hamilton on Oct. 17, where the Gaels will match up with the defending OUA champion McMaster Mauraders.

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