Backups beat Laurier

Men’s rugby win 40-3 to clinch second place in OUA

The rugby team attempts a lineout against the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks at West Campus on Friday night.
The rugby team attempts a lineout against the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks at West Campus on Friday night.

The men’s rugby team’s bench beat the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks on Friday night. Head coach Peter Huigenbos used his backups in the team’s 40-3 win at West Campus.

“We tried some different combinations,” Huigenbos said after the game. “The guys struggled a little bit with the structure but their effort was 100 per cent.”

The Gaels improved to 5-1 with the win and clinch second in the OUA for a first-round bye week in the playoffs. Huigenbos said he used his substitutes on Friday to prepare other players to contribute in meaningful games.

“We’re confident the 35 guys here can play in this league,” he said. “It’s more of making sure that everyone’s getting their minutes and ready to play so that they stay sharp [for playoffs].”

Fullback David Worsley led the team with 14 points and flyhalf Liam Underwood added six more on three conversions.

Flanker Matt Kelly didn’t score, but consistently broke tackles and made long runs into Laurier territory. Early in the second half, he made two runs to set up tries and put the game out of reach for the Golden Hawks. Huigenbos said Kelly’s presence in the game makes his teammates play better.

“The guys see his effort and they know they need to bring their game up,” he said. “He could probably put his hand up for man of the match.”

The Gaels host the Guelph Gryphons in their regular season final next weekend. The game will be the Gryphons’ first appearance since a two-game suspension. was Guelph Athletics imposed the suspension after a Sept. 17 orientation party. The Gryphons sit at 3-3-1 after forfeiting games against the University of Toronto Varsity Blues and the
McMaster Marauders.

The Gryphons have already clinched a playoff berth, but their suspension ended any chance of a first-round bye. Huigenbos said he expects the Gryphons to be hungry after the two-week break.

“I’m curious preparing for a team that’s had a couple weeks off, you don’t know what type of game they’ll bring,” he said. “But they’ve got some very good players, they’ll be ready to go.”

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