Rugby triumphs over Trent

Gaels’ 99-0 win is OUA’s largest margin of victory in last eight years

A Trent defender tries to pull down Queen’s back Will Sorenson in Saturday’s game. The Gaels defeated the Excalibur 99-0.
A Trent defender tries to pull down Queen’s back Will Sorenson in Saturday’s game. The Gaels defeated the Excalibur 99-0.

The Golden Gaels men’s rugby team sent a clear message to the their next opponent on Saturday afternoon with an authoritative 99-0 OUA quarter-final victory over the Trent Excalibur.

Queen’s defeated an outmatched Trent on a windblown Kingston Field to advance to next weekend’s semifinal against the Western Mustangs.

The Gaels’ margin of victory was the largest in any OUA men’s rugby game in at least eight years. OUA scores from beyond 1999 aren’t available online.

The regular season game between the two teams Sept. 8 was similarly lopsided, with Queen’s winning 78-0.

Although history was on their side, Gaels’ coach Peter Huigenbos said the team was focused on avoiding an upset.

“This is rugby and the best team that shows up on the day wins,” he said.

There was no sign of complacency in the Gaels’ preparation as the squad went through their warm up drills with a confident precision.

Queen’s took the game to Trent from the opening whistle, with captain James Potter scoring the first try within the first minute. They had two more tries by the time fullback Colin Alexander broke a pair of tackles to score on a powerful run from midfield, giving the Gaels a 24-0 lead after only 15 minutes of play.

Queen’s led 55-0 at halftime.

Huigenbos introduced several substitutes at the interval, but the Gaels’ dominance continued as the team scored again in the first minute of play.

The tries continued to flow as the Gaels exposed huge openings in Trent’s defence, with substitute Chris Barrett scoring four times in the final 15 minutes.

Queen’s built an incredible 99-0 advantage when both coaches agreed to call time on the game, prompting the referee to blow the final whistle with six minutes remaining.

Scrum-half Bryn Davies, the OUA’s top regular-season scorer, led the Gaels with 22 points and was one of nine different players to score a try for the home team.

Only once did Trent gain possession of the ball in Queen’s half of the field.

Huigenbos said the team had avoided the temptation to take Trent for granted.

“I’m very pleased with the effort, obviously,” he said. “We followed our game plan to a T.”

Although the game’s result never appeared in doubt, Potter said the players’ concentration level remained high.

“After each try, we wanted to smile and enjoy it, but then get right back into the game,” he said.

The Gaels will face a stronger team in the semifinal. Queen’s beat Western 16-13 earlier this season in a tense and fiery contest. Huigenbos said the team will need to improve on that performance by translating its possession and territorial advantages into points.

The last match between the teams included several violent clashes, but Potter said the prospect of earning a place in the OUA final will force the Gaels to show more restraint on Saturday.

“I’m not concerned about discipline with this team.”

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