Gaels cruise to victory over Guelph

Men’s rugby advances to OUA Semifinal after win Saturday on Kingston Field

Centre Jonathon Guichon scores a try for the Gaels in their victory over the Guelph Gryphons. The Gaels will be in Hamilton this Saturday for the semifinals.
Centre Jonathon Guichon scores a try for the Gaels in their victory over the Guelph Gryphons. The Gaels will be in Hamilton this Saturday for the semifinals.

The Queen’s men’s rugby team won a lopsided quarterfinal by 44-0 against the Guelph Gryphons Saturday at Kingston Field. The game was the strongest and most well-rounded effort from the Gaels, they capitalized on their offensive opportunities and played dynamic defence. The first half saw the Gaels jump out to a 20-0 lead, following scoring from full-back Mike Wong, flanker Matt Kelly, and winger Scott Kyle.

“This was the best game we’ve had all year,” said head coach Paul Huigenbos. “We worked hard, putting things together and it definitely came together today and the boys feel really good about this win.”

The fact that the Gaels managed to add 24 points in the second half after several substitutions, showed the depth of this year’s team.

“We scored some nice tries and played a full 80 minutes…we didn’t let any opportunities go by the wayside,” he said. “The thing I’m most happy with is the seven substitutions that came on had an impact and they really brought the game up to another level.”

Lock Hank McQueen, prop Burke MacDonald, centre John Guichon, and centre Brendan McGovern all scored tries in the second half to give Queen’s the comfortable victory. McQueen, also the team’s captain, mimicked his coach’s enthusiasm about the team’s first playoff game of 2010.

“It was a good full team effort. Both backs and forwards were really tuned in from the get-go,” he said.

Some of the struggles of the Queen’s team this year have been focused around problems finishing off their offensive opportunities. However, Saturday’s quarterfinal saw no trace of such struggles as the Gaels produced their highest offensive output in over a month.

“[Our plan] was to link together two strong halves, to play a full 80 minutes. We haven’t really done it all season and to come out like we did in both halves was great for us,” said McQueen. “It’s indicative of a strong performance that our subs came in and did a phenomenal job.”

The focus now switches to the Gaels’ semi-final match against the McMaster Marauders in Hamilton next weekend. The Marauders defeated Queen’s in their only head-to-head match this season, winning a tight, hard-fought game by a score of 25-18.

The semi-final gives the Gaels a chance at redeeming that loss and advancing to yet another OUA men’s rugby final. McQueen said he was restrained yet confident about their semi-final match on the road.

“We’re going to have a hard week of training, and we need to make sure everyone’s switched on and we’re all on the same page,” said McQueen. “Mac’s a strong side so we need to come in focused and prepared.”

The Gaels will be in Hamilton this weekend to face the McMaster Marauders in the OUA Semifinals. Game starts at 1:00 p.m.

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