Bounce-back victory

Gaels get back on track with win over Guelph

After an Andrew Carr kick, Teddy Taggart grabbed the ball in the in-goal zone, scoring the Gaels’ second try of the match.
After an Andrew Carr kick, Teddy Taggart grabbed the ball in the in-goal zone, scoring the Gaels’ second try of the match.
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The Gaels have racked up the fourth-most points in the OUA this year, and rank second in points conceded.
The Gaels have racked up the fourth-most points in the OUA this year, and rank second in points conceded.
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A win at home against a tough opponent kept Queen’s in the hunt for provincial supremacy.

The Gaels (4-1) prevailed over the previously unbeaten Guelph Gryphons 33-17 on a chilly, rain-soaked Nixon Field. Head coach Gary Gilks said beating the Gryphons (4-1) was essential.

“We knew they were an up-and-coming squad, so to beat them today was pretty special,” he said.

The win took on extra meaning after Queen’s dropped last week’s match 18-13 to the McMaster Marauders.

Following the loss to McMaster last week, the team realized they weren’t untouchable, Gilks said — something he made sure to combat in the team’s practices.

“We had a tough week of training,” he said. “We’ve totally focused on what we’re going to do against Guelph and that showed today.

“Everything we did today is exactly what we did at practice,” he said.

Queen’s scored the first try, but Guelph had more offensive production in the first half of the game, holding a 17-12 at the half.

Towards the end of the first half, winger Kainoa Lloyd chipped the ball over his defender and nearly recovered it after scooting around them, but was unable to rein in the ball. While the play was unsuccessful, it still garnered a cheer from the Queen’s fans who turned out in support.

One of Queen’s more dynamic tries in the first half saw fly half Andrew Carr’s kick from the middle of the pitch sail into the far left corner, where centre back Teddy Taggart slid in to collect the points.

Full back David Worsley kicked consistently throughout the game, hitting four out of five conversion attempts.

A second-half score came when Queen’s managed to push the ruck across the goal line — a gritty play largely due to the strength of the men in the centre.

Queen’s controlled the ball well in the second half, which was played largely in the midfield or in the Gaels’ offensive end.

“All 15 guys – well, 23 – stepped up, played their guts out,” Gilks said. “It was very emotional.” The win against Guelph has made the team more optimistic, he added.

“It’s a good feeling to be back in control, so we’re quite excited,” he said.

On Friday, the Gaels travel to Toronto to play a road game against the struggling Varsity Blues (0-5). Gilks said Friday’s game will be an opportunity for younger players to gain experience, as several starters will sit.

“Nothing against U of T – it’s just they’re not at the top so we’re going to probably rest a few of our guys that got beat up today,” he said.

Queen’s next crucial game is against the Western Mustangs (4-1) on Oct. 18. The squads have met in each of the past three OUA finals.

Two Western representatives were taping Saturday’s matchup, sporting Mustangs gear at Nixon Field.

“They could have at least put on some other casual outfit,” Gilks said. “But that’s okay, that’s Western.”

OUA Men’s Rugby Standings

1. McMaster (5-1) – 25 pts

2. Queen’s (4-1) – 21 pts

T-3. Guelph (4-1) – 20 pts

T-3. Western (4-1) – 20 pts

5. Brock (4-2) – 20 pts

6. RMC (1-4) – 7 pts

7. Waterloo (1-4) – 5 pts

8. Laurier (1-4) – 4 pts

9. Toronto (0-5) – 0 pts

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