Queen’s crowned

Gaels overcome Mustangs to reclaim OUA championship

Captain Dan Moor scored a solo try in the opening minute of Sunday’s 29-18 win over Western.
Captain Dan Moor scored a solo try in the opening minute of Sunday’s 29-18 win over Western.
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Brothers Tim and Pat Richardson won their second OUA championship in their fifth seasons with the Gaels.
Brothers Tim and Pat Richardson won their second OUA championship in their fifth seasons with the Gaels.
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Queen’s held the Mustangs to six first-half points.
Queen’s held the Mustangs to six first-half points.
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It was a win men’s rugby captain Dan Moor had trouble putting into words.

Queen’s overcame the Western Mustangs 29-18 at Nixon Field on Sunday to claim the OUA title — their first since 2009.

It was redemption for last year’s 21-15 championship defeat to the Mustangs at Western. Winning the title has been the objective ever since.

“We’ve been working hard 12 months of the year for this, and I’ve seen first-hand the effort the boys have put in,” Moor said.

Moor set the tone on the game’s opening kick-off, blocking a Western kick and running in for a try.

The fourth-year outside centre played for the Gaels fifth side in 2009, and worked his way up to become team captain for two years running.

“Dan Moor, I’m just so happy for the kid,” said Gaels head coach Peter Huigenbos. “I couldn’t ask for a better captain.”

Fly half Liam Underwood scored 14 points against Western, earning OUA athlete of the week honours for his performance.

One of Underwood’s more dazzling runs was broken up ten feet from the Mustangs try zone after a series of fake-passes and sidesteps. Scrum half Brendan McGovern finished the play with a try, putting the Gaels up 22-6 to start the second half.

Underwood followed up with a try in the 74th minute, and capped it off with a conversion.

“To have [Underwood] finish it off there, I mean, it’s typical Liam Underwood style,” Huigenbos said.

The Gaels were tasked with holding the lead in the second half but the forwards managed to control possession, slowing down play and eating up minutes.

“It wasn’t pretty but obviously it paid off,” he said.

It was nearly a reversal of last year, when the Mustangs held on to win 21-15 on their home turf.

“This year, we knew what we had to do in different situations,” Huigenbos said.

“I don’t think I prepared them as well as I could’ve last year.” Fittingly on Remembrance Day, the Gaels remembered one of their own — Walter Gerow, a Consecutive Education student who passed away over the summer.

Gerow was a flanker and wore number six, which Huigenbos chose to retire for the whole season.

Fourth-year prop Doug Davidson credited Huigenbos for developing the proper team mentality prior to Sunday’s final.

“He got us so prepared, so ready ­— [he’s a] phenomenal coach,” Davidson said.

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