Rough start to the season for men’s rugby

Photo by Alex Trkulja

Photo by Alex Trkulja

The Golden Hawk’s men’s rugby squad played host to the Brock Badgers this past Sunday at University Stadium.

The Badgers got off to a quick start, scoring the first points off the game on nice scoring play from Nabeel Imtiaz that resulted in a try and the game’s first few points.

The Golden Hawks responded shortly after with try from Matthew Fish and the Golden Hawks took the lead 7-5 after the conversion was good from Samuel Goffin.

After a few big runs and close- scoring plays from each of the teams, the first half ended at 7-5 in favour of the home side.

The Badgers came out strong to start the second half and Nabeel Imtiaz scored his second try of the game. This time, however, the kick was good and the Badgers took a 12-7 lead over the Golden Hawks.

Only a few minutes later, the Badgers struck again after Karl Mueller managed to free himself of a few tackles and score a try.

The Badgers had extended their lead to 19-7 with 32 minutes left in the match.

The Golden Hawks stormed back up the field and closed the gap at 19-12 after a try from Jackson Smith.

Once again, the Badgers responded quickly and Brendan Long joined the score sheet for his first try of the contest.

Tempers were beginning to flair up at this point, with a hard push from one of the Badgers forwards and no penalty whistle was blown.

After hammering the goal line on numerous occasions, the Golden Hawks managed to swing the ball out wide and free up some space, which resulted in an offside by the Badgers.

A nifty play on the line by the Golden Hawks occurred as they used the scrum to their advantage and controlled the ball over the try line before Ryan Gamm picked it up and scored the try.

The Golden Hawks had managed to close the gap to  26-19 with less than 15 to play.

The Badgers intercepted a Laurier pass and got control of the ball close to the Laurier line and were pressuring the Golden Hawks in their own end.

With time about to expire in the game, the Golden Hawks desperately pounded towards the Brock end to try and tie the game up with a last-minute try.

The Golden Hawks’ last second attempts were unsuccessful as they dropped this contest 26-19 and moved to 2-2 after starting the season 2-0 for the first time since 2006.

Head coach, Ian McLeod, was disappointed with the way that his team played.

“We’re better than we showed. We made silly mistakes that, to Brock’s credit, they took advantage of,” McLeod said.

The Golden Hawks did seem to really outmatch Brock this game during the scrums. Led by captain Andrew Quattrin, they won most of these battles.

“I think it helps when you have Andrew Quattrin, who’s our captain. He’s on Rugby Canada’s depth chart and he’s just an excellent player and a great captain,” McLeod said.

Looking forward, McLeod knows his team has to be better if they want to compete in the playoffs.

“It’s a tougher road to home for us to get to a playoff spot. We thought this was a must-win game for us and we didn’t get it”.

The Golden Hawks look to regroup for their next game Saturday, October 1 as they host the University of Guelph Gryphons. Kickoff Is set for 1 p.m. at University Stadium.

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