Men’s rugby wins at home

Riding strong defence, men’s rugby picks up two wins in five days

The Gaels defeated the Waterloo Warriors and the RMC Paladins this past week at Kingston Field.
The Gaels defeated the Waterloo Warriors and the RMC Paladins this past week at Kingston Field.

The Queen’s men’s rugby team had their busiest week this season, facing the Waterloo Warriors and the RMC Paladins within five days of each other. The Gaels beat the Warriors 38-17 at Kingston Field on Saturday then dominated RMC 29-5 in a Wednesday afternoon match.

Hooker Mason Curtis gave the Gaels an early lead on Saturday, making a spectacular block on the Warriors’ full-back, grabbing the loose ball and putting down a try.

Later in the first half, second-year centre, Mike Van der Westhuizen broke several tackles to give the home side a 14 point lead only to have Waterloo push back with a try of their own.

However, after excellent work by the Queen’s forwards, lock and captain Hank McQueen scored the Gaels’ third try of the first half, giving them a 24-14 lead going into the second stanza.

The second half was a perfect example of the solid defending of this year’s men’s rugby team. While the Warriors threatened several times, the Gaels managed to hold them to only three points, relying on strong tackling and smart, tactical rugby.

While maintaining strong defensive play, the Gaels added two more tries.

Lock Shane Baddeley scored after a maul that showcased the hard work of this year’s team. Centre Brendan McGovern made some nice cuts to avoid several defenders and score Queen’s final try.

Head coach Peter Huigenbos said he was pleased with his team’s effort and execution stressing the simplicity of their game-plan.

“[Our plan] was to score more points than Waterloo,” he said. “I thought we took advantage of our opportunities on turnovers … our line-outs were very crisp and it’s always nice to win a game at home.” Flanker Matt Kelly echoed his coach’s thoughts, emphasizing his team’s determination.

“We worked really well together today,” he said. “When things didn’t go our way, we stayed with it and came out with the win and that’s the bottom line. This win was huge for us. It was a chance to have a fresh start and we took advantage of the opportunity. That being said, we still want to execute a little better … we don’t want to leave points on the field.”

Riding their win against Waterloo, men’s rugby had little time in between games, but had no trouble adding another notch to their win column against RMC

The home squad rode yet another strong defensive effort and tries from McGovern, winger Dan Moor, hooker Stephen Saunders, winger Graham Turner, and winger Mike Wong.

Wong, after making several threatening runs throughout the game, was finally rewarded with a try after some sublime fakes to avoid the Paladin defenders. The score did not adequately reflect the game as RMC had very few scoring chances and Queen’s offered very few opportunities thanks to their extremely effective tackling.

They will follow up Wednesday’s game with the Brock Badgers on Saturday in what is the busiest week of the season for the Gaels. With several key players injured already, the Gaels hope to stay healthy through this final stretch, moving into the playoffs.

“I think we came out of this game well and we’ll try to manage our players and their health so we can pick up two home wins to finish the season,” Huigenbos said. “We just want to stay healthy and get through three games in eight days.”

The Gaels will play the Brock Badgers Saturday at Kingston Field. The game starts at 3 p.m.

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