Analysis: Queen’s rugby continues domination

Men’s and women’s teams stoking national aspirations

Scrum half Dylan Young and his Queen’s teammates have yet to meet their match this season.

Queen’s rugby is the most dominant, transcendent, unstoppable force in the OUA. Jointly 5-0, nobody has come close to slowing down these Gaels.

The men’s and women’s teams have won their games by a combined score of 421-45. That’s nearly 10 points for every one point scored by their opposition.

The women’s team has flown closer to the sun in their three games, scoring 135 points (an all-time team record) against Western and then 100 points against McMaster, while only conceding 19 points to a nationally ranked Guelph side.

They rolled into Guelph this past weekend and got the Gryphon off their back, beating host Guelph for the first time since 2014 (including four consecutive playoff losses) with a convincing 54-19 victory.

The Gryphons are the only other team in the OUA included in the national rankings, slotted in right behind the Gaels at fourth.

The men and women both went to Nationals last year, and the women went the year before as well. They’re simultaneously seasoned and hungry.

This is no “manifest destiny” situation––both teams have very real aspirations of being crowned the best in the country. 

The women are getting contributions from everyone on the roster. Team captain and All-Canadian Sophie de Goede, electrifying rookies Tory Black, Carmen Izyk, and Lizzie Gibson, and veterans like Rachel Hickson, McKinley Hunt, and Pippi McKay have all been getting in on the action.

They came in fourth in the country last year and return much of the same core. Six seniors, anticipating a shot at the title, came back for a fifth year.

The men have some formidable players in their ranks too. A few of the more prominent include fifth year scrum half Dylan Young, captain Josh Engelbrecht, Trevor Helgason, and Cully Quirke.

They rolled over Laurier this weekend in what could be described as a sloppy win, 43-21. The talent is obviously there given their large margin of victory in what was a subpar game for them, but the Gaels are going to have to tighten up for when the competition gets more intense.

Veteran head coach Dave Butcher and his side are looking to get revenge on UBC who beat them in the national championship finals last fall.

Depth is the key to the Gaels’ success. There are heaps of men and women buried in the Queen’s system who could be bona fide starters on any other team in the province, toiling in the name of the program’s overall health.

It’s quite possible that the Queen’s second team could roll over some first teams in the OUA.

These statements aren’t meant to be brags, but when the scores are so lopsided it seems like a cricket match has broken out, the superlatives come naturally. There simply hasn’t been a more successful start to the season for an OUA program in recent memory.

The Gaels obviously still have room for improvement, but right now it looks like there’s an unbridgeable chasm between them and their OUA competition. The two teams will look to finetune their games ahead of the playoffs.

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