Rugby rolls to victory

Queen’s men beat Army 40-8 at Kingston Field Sunday

As part of the Queen’s men’s rugby preseason tournament at Kingston Field last weekend, the Gaels, last year’s OUA silver medalists, defeated the United States Military Academy squad from West Point, New York by a score of 40-8.

The Gaels’ cries of “Balls to Army, we won’t play them anymore” welcomed the visitors who were immediately turned on their backs as Chris Fulton scored Queen’s first try within the two minutes of the starting whistle.

The Army squad answered five minutes later but missed the conversion and it was all Gaels from that point on. Fulton added a second try, while Michael Wong punched in two more.

Scott Kyle finished up the game with a late try and Ryan Kruyne made four of five converts for a total of eight points.

Gaels’ Head Coach Peter Huigenbos said that he never expected to win with such a vast margin of victory.

“We wanted to win and beat them in all aspects of the game but we didn’t expect to be so far ahead at the whistle,” he said. “We were able to knock them out of their game plan and things really went our way. We expected a physical affair and we got it.”

Though Huigenbos was pleased with the first 45 minutes of play, he said the last 35 minutes found Queen’s taking too many avoidable penalties.

“It was really positive, fast-paced rugby at first, but we got undisciplined and took away from what we were trying to do as a team.”

The Gaels’ lack of discipline resulted in Army converting a late penalty for three points, bringing their final tally to eight.

Army head coach Rich Pohlidal said Queen’s talent surprised him.

“They play with great pace, you could see the experience,” he said. “They also play as a unit. It’s amazing to see that level of unity and that level of cohesion at the collegiate level.”

Queen’s inside-center Kruyne, breaking in a new spot in the lineup, was happy with his game.

“I was in a new position, so I improved for my first game and did pretty well,” he said. “I’ve got to get used to the calibre of my teammates and improve every game from here on out.”

Despite the victory, Kruyne was concerned about the team’s communication on the field.

“It’s a matter of getting to know the players around you,” he said.

Kruyne blamed the Gaels’ lack of discipline at the end of the game on waning fitness due to their other weekend games.

“At the end of the game we were tired after a long week of training and a weekend with two other games,” he said. “Once your fitness drops, you start taking stupid penalties.”

In Queen’s other tournament games, the Gaels’ first team beat Dartmouth College from Hanover, New Hampshire by a score of 19-0 Saturday and the second team beat Dartmouth’s second squad 78-0 Saturday and defeated Army’s second team

24-17 Sunday.

Improvements aside, Kruyne was impressed with his team and said he’s optimistic about the future.

“The more we’re together, we learn about ourselves and we’ll be constantly improving. We can only get better from here.”

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