Rugby keeps rolling

Turner leads charge with several starters out of lineup

Through five games, Queen’s leads the OUA with 226 points for and 42 points against.
Through five games, Queen’s leads the OUA with 226 points for and 42 points against.

On a field lined with a sea of tricolour, men’s rugby reaffirmed their spot atop the OUA.

Working as a united front, the Gaels were able to maintain possession and take advantage of mistakes made by the visiting McMaster Marauders (2-3), winning 50-24 in front of a Homecoming crowd on Saturday.

With the win, Queen’s (5-0) further solidified its first place in the OUA, staying above the second-place Western Mustangs (4-1) with two regular season games remaining.

Head coach Peter Huigenbos was pleased with the high calibre of rugby on Saturday.

“I thought it was a good display of rugby from two teams that were definitely moving the ball,” Huigenbos said. “There was a lot of speed out there and we scored some tries from pretty far out. Our guys display a lot of pace and precision in their execution out wide, and we also had success up front.”

McMaster was first to get points on the board with a penalty goal in the first few minutes of play. The Gaels responded with a try by James Dent, accompanied by a successful conversion by Brendan McGovern.

The rest of the first half saw another try by Dent, followed by tries from McGovern and Tommy Kirkham.

Going into the second half, the Gaels had a lead of 29-10. McMaster was quick once again to score a try and a successful conversion. Queen’s rebounded aggressively with a try by Jacob Rumball and a conversion from McGovern.

McMaster scored again, but the Gaels secured their victory with tries from Brendan Sloan and Matt Gottschling and conversions from McGovern and David Worsley.

“McMaster was very good – they worked hard for a solid 80 minutes,” Huigenbos said. “Especially late in the first half and early in the second half, they really tested our lineout defence.

“Overall, I think it was a great game of rugby, and I am happy with the result.” Huigenbos praised fourth-year wing Graham Turner on his leadership and support for the team, particularly with several key players missing from the lineup.

“[He] was our best player on the field. He stole balls at the breakdown and personally set up two tries in the second half and was a good leader in a shaken up back line due to the line up changes,” Huigenbos said, noting that several of the team’s top players missed the McMaster game to attend the Canadian Under-20 team camp.

“All [of them] played well this season, so it was a big loss. We definitely had some changes in the lineup from last week’s squad,” Huigenbos said.

Queen’s was out in full force to support the team, and the act did not go unnoticed.

“There were a lot of people there. They were loud and it was a great atmosphere for both teams,” Huigenbos said. “It’s great to have that support from the school and to play in front of such a great crowd, especially on Homecoming weekend.”

This week, the team travels to Guelph, taking on the Gryphons (4-1) on Friday at 8 p.m.

OUA Standings

1. Queen’s [5-0-0] – 25 pts
2. Western [4-1-0] – 20 pts
3. Guelph [4-1-0] – 19 pts
4. RMC [2-3-0] – 11 pts
5. Brock [2-3-0] – 10 pts
6. McMaster [2-3-0] – 8 pts
7. Waterloo [0-4-1] – 3 pts
8. Laurier [0-4-1] – 2 pts

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