Gryphons take OUA Championship rematch against Golden Hawks men’s rugby
The home and season opener for the Golden Hawks men’s rugby team saw them go head-to-head against division rivals the Guelph Gryphons. The Hawks were looking to get even with the Gryphons after losing the OUA Championship game last season.
The Hawks defence stunned from the first whistle. Guelph pushed the Hawks deep into their own zone, but the home team held their opponents outside the try line while preventing two try’s to keep the score at zero through the first ten minutes.
With the Hawks not seeing much of the other side of the pitch, the Gryphons were able to capitalise on the try from Jack Morris to put the Gryphons up 7-0.
Not long after, the Hawks gained momentum and gained ground in the midfield where Evan Walsh sped past the Gryphons line to score the Hawks first try of the season, but could not level the score as the conversion from Adam McNee was ruled no good. The Gryphons led 7-5 at the end of the half.
Head Coach Phil Murphy commented on the defence saying, “In the first half, their effort was phenomenal. When we had the ball in our hands, we played within ourselves, and didn’t express our true intentions.”
An error on the Hawks lineout in the second half proved costly as Kobe Faust found the tryzone to add five points, while his attempt at the conversion was no good.
The Hawks would level the game at 12 moments later on the try from Will Nicol and successful conversion from McNee.
Unfortunately, the game ran away from the Hawks as the Gryphons kept pushing. The defence again kept the Gryphons just outside the tryzone, but a Gryphon managed to slip just out of the reach of a Hawk to get through on the open wing.
Late in the match, the Hawks lost some discipline, allowing the Gryphons to put seven points on the board for the penalty try. The Golden Hawks fell 33-12, remaining winless against Guelph since the 2010 season.
Captain and Senior Dylan Di Girolamo touched on his team’s effort in the rematch saying, “We knew it was going to be a tough game coming in, and obviously disappointed by the results, but proud of our defensive game. We played about 65 to 70 minutes of defence … We need to get the ball in our hands more.”
Murphy was disappointed with the loss, but urged the team to put it behind them to look further down the season road. “I need my team to be ready by week six, week seven, when the playoffs start … We feed on past experiences, and we look forward to future experiences.”
Murphy added, “If we are 0-3, or 3-0, it’s by week seven we need to be flying.”
The Hawks go on a two game road trip, visiting Western then Queen’s. “They are two really good teams, two really tough games that those are going to be. We just got to buckle down at practice, get going, and get back to who we are and play our game.” Di Girolamo said.
The team returns home in the final weekend of September for a matchup against the York Lions at University Stadium.