Gaels maraud McMaster

Road win gives Queen’s first place in OUA East

Queen’s outside centre Zach Pancer scores a try against McMaster Saturday.
Queen’s outside centre Zach Pancer scores a try against McMaster Saturday.
Credit: 
Supplied Photo by Larry Pancer
Wing Mike Wong evades a Marauder as flanker Alistair Clark looks on.
Wing Mike Wong evades a Marauder as flanker Alistair Clark looks on.
Credit: 
Supplied Photo by Larry Pancer

The men’s rugby team rode into Hamilton this weekend looking for a victory to put them into the lead of the OUA East Division, but faced a McMaster Marauders team who themselves needed a win to take top spot in the OUA West. Queen’s picked up a 14-10 victory, improving their record to 2-0-1.

Gaels’ head coach Peter Huigenbos said he was impressed by both teams.

“Both teams should be congratulated for a very spirited 80 minutes of rugby,” he said. “We expected them to be a well-coached, well-structured team on offense and defence. That was definitely the case.”

The game started on a negative for Queen’s, when McMaster scored a penalty within 20 minutes to take a 3-0 lead.

The Marauders built on that lead soon after, when a miscommunication between the Gaels’ backs allowed Marauders’ wing Alexander Sithole a clear 50-metre run to take a 10-0 lead.

Gaels’ outside centre Zach Pancer put a chip in the McMaster lead in the 39th minute with his first try of the game. Pancer’s try, coupled with inside centre Ryan Kruyne’s first conversion of the game, reduced the lead to 10-7 going into halftime.

The Gaels started the second half with gusto and flanker Alistair Clark scored a try seven minutes in. Kruyne’s second conversion gave Queen’s a four-point advantage, which they held on to for the rest of the game.

Huigenbos said the key to Queen’s victory was their ability to adapt to changing situations on the field.

“We really had to adapt to what was working and what wasn’t working at halftime,” he said. “The guys recognized that and came out flying in the second half and were rewarded with the try by Alistair.”

Huigenbos said some players on the team stepped up and helped the Gaels turn the momentum during the game.

“Zach Pancer had a big impact and his intercept try at the end of the first half really brought the boys back to life,” he said. “The impact of Graham Whyte [who played both inside and outside centre] coming on in the second half was huge. Alistair Clark was man of the match and Mike Salisbury was master of the lineouts, after coming in to replace Shane Baddeley. … We would not have won the game without those lineouts.”

The Gaels will continue their season in Peterborough on Oct. 4 against the Trent Excalibur, before coming home to host the defending OUA gold medallists Brock Badgers on Oct. 10 at 2 p.m. at Kingston Field.

When commenting, be considerate and respectful of writers and fellow commenters. Try to stay on topic. Spam and comments that are hateful or discriminatory will be deleted. Our full commenting policy can be read here.