Rugby handles Hawks

Six players score tries in blowout win

Queen's has outscored Laurier a combined 86-0 in their last two meetings.
Queen's has outscored Laurier a combined 86-0 in their last two meetings.
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Liam Underwood scored 21 points against Laurier: two tries, one penalty goal and four conversions.
Liam Underwood scored 21 points against Laurier: two tries, one penalty goal and four conversions.
Photo: 
The Gaels' attack stayed consistent throughout, scoring 24 points in each half.
The Gaels' attack stayed consistent throughout, scoring 24 points in each half.
Photo: 

Men’s rugby annihilated the Laurier Golden Hawks last weekend, thanks in large part to a key veteran.

The defending OUA champions opened their season at Nixon Field on Saturday with a 48-0 win – their second shutout of the Golden Hawks in as many years.

Fourth-year back Liam Underwood, who competed with the Canadian national team in a series of summer fixtures, contributed 21 of the Gaels’ 48 points in the game.

“Liam’s obviously a very high-quality rugby player,” said head coach Peter Huigenbos. “To have him on the same field with his fellow Queen’s teammates, it makes everyone better.”

Underwood started the scoring with a penalty goal five minutes into the game, setting the tone for a first half that saw the Gaels take complete control.

Underwood and fellow backs Andrew Carr and Adam McQueen all scored tries in the first half, expanding the Gaels’ lead to 24-0 heading into halftime.

Huigenbos said the play of the forwards – including Brendan Sloan and Joseph Yelle – was a major reason for Queen’s scoring burst.

“The forwards knew their job was to provide good quality possessions for the backs to utilize,” he said. “For the most part, the forwards rolled up their sleeves, got to work and made sure the backs got the ball.”

The Gaels continued their strong offensive play in the second half. Backs Brendan McGovern, David Worsley and forward David Williams added tries to seal the Queen’s victory.

On the defensive side of the game, the Gaels were able to prevent Laurier from having many scoring opportunities, controlling tempo and keeping the action tilted towards the opposing half of the pitch.

Huigenbos said that while the Gaels weren’t perfect, their performance in the game was still good.

“The team was pretty cohesive and had a good showing,” he said. “I think it was a pretty solid effort for the full 80 minutes.”

The Gaels’ next test is on the road against the Waterloo Warriors (0-1) on Sept. 15.

“They have a new young coach who will definitely have his players ready to play us,” Huigenbos said. “We have to get to work this week and focus on our set piece and make sure we have a lot of quality possessions to work with.”

Instant Replay

Liam Underwood’s 21 points against Laurier wasn’t his most notable accomplishment this year. He suited up for the men’s national team throughout the summer, appearing in Kingston for Canada’s 36-27 win over Tonga.

His return to the lineup couldn’t come at a better time, with Queen’s gunning for a second straight OUA crown.

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