Rugby ‘building forward’

Men's rugby hopes to escape the injury woes in the rest of the season. (Photo by Kha Vo)

Men’s rugby hopes to escape the injury woes in the rest of the season. (Photo by Kha Vo)

The Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks men’s rugby team put in a superb effort against the feisty Brock Badgers on Saturday, but unfortunately let the game slip away with two late tries in the dying moments of the heated match, losing 20-8.

The contest between the two clubs was nothing short of a chaotic battle, where it seemed as if the medical staff spent more time on the field than the players did.

This was evident when the Hawks lost their starting fly half on the opening kick-off, and were riddled with injuries throughout the game forcing a handful of substitutions.

“Once upon a time this would have been disastrous, but we were able to survive this game and our back-ups gave a solid effort,” said head coach Rob McQueen of the injury-blown Hawk squad.

Despite the injury woes, the Hawks jumped to an early lead thanks to forward Jesse Kokorudz, who hammered home a gritty try just nine minutes into the contest.

The Badgers had multiple opportunities to score in the first half, but were completely shut down by the new-look defence of the Golden Hawks.

“Our tackling was great, we were very physical, and we managed to maintain this throughout the whole game, something that we have always lacked in the past,” added McQueen.

This defence forced the Badgers to settle for just penalty kicks in the first half, but the Badgers still came away with a 6-5 lead in the first half.

After converting on a penalty kick in the second half to regain the lead at 8-6, the Golden Hawks couldn’t close out the victory, as they allowed a pair of late scores at the 39th and 41st minute of the contest and suffered a 20-8 loss.

Despite the loss, coach McQueen believes the Hawks were the better team on the field Saturday.

“I thought we were the better team out there today, we got into penalty troubles and weren’t able to close out the game, but overall I thought we were the better team,” he said.

The Hawks looked like a much improved team from last year with their impressive effort on Saturday, most notably when they mounted a remarkable defensive goal-line stand with just minutes to go in the first half.

“In the past, we would have given up on efforts like that, or been unsuccessful, but this team is building forward and we hope to bring an effort like this against Waterloo next week,” added McQueen.

The neighborhood rival Waterloo Warriors will square off next Friday against the Golden Hawks at University Stadium at 7 p.m.

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