An optimistic start for men’s rugby


Contibuted image by Andreas Patsiaouros
Contibuted image by Andreas Patsiaou

After opening the season with a perfect two wins from two games—38-24 over University of Toronto and 29-11 over University of Waterloo—men’s rugby head coach, Ian McLeod has achievable expectations and hopes for the 2016 OUA season.

“As a program we’d like to see at least a .500 season. Better than that would be good, but I would expect us to be at least at .500,” coach McLeod said.

Seeing that the team has already started out 2-0, to finish 4-4 after the eight game season seems to be a very realistic expectation for this year’s group.  Should they continue with this early season success, the goal of reaching a medal game also seems to be well within reach. They would need to reach the semi-finals of the playoffs to qualify for a medal game.

While this team is led by its more senior level students, McLeod seemed very happy with this year’s recruits and is excited for what they will bring to the future of the program.

“I think [recruiting] went pretty well.  Matt [Fish] is a very good player who I think will get better and better as he grows and gets a little older and stronger. We picked up Christian Lyle from Sarnia as well who unfortunately got concussed late in the summer, so I’m not sure we’ll see him play this year, but he’s another very bright

prospect that I think will be very good for the team going forward.”

With a strong recruiting class and a perfect start to the new season, things are looking up for the men’s rugby team. McLeod was content with the results so far in that the program has been moving in a positive direction since he took over the head coaching job three years ago but he also stressed that there is much to improve upon over the final six games of the season and beyond.

“When I got here, the culture was such that I think guys were worried about losing to U of T, Waterloo and those teams and I think we need to change that mindset to a more confident group of individuals who believe they can beat U of T, Waterloo and every other [OUA] team.  The whole mindset has to change, we have to start believing in ourselves as a team and a program going forward and I think that’s slowly coming,” he explained.

“We’ve got Queen’s next weekend and that’ll be a good measuring stick for us to see where the program’s actually at and how far we need to go. That’s my job as a coach to make sure we get there,” McLeod added confidently.

Men’s rugby will suit up this Saturday at Queen’s University to face the Queen’s Gaels. Kick off is set for 1 p.m.

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