Rugby scores first try in loss to Mac

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After being shut-out through their first three games of the season, Laurier’s men’s rugby team finally found a breakthrough Friday night versus the visiting McMaster Marauders.

When rookie Andrew Thomson plunged over the try line with 19 minutes left in Friday’s game, it gave the Hawks their first points of the season. Then in stoppage time second-year Jeffrey Dinsmore added the team’s second try of 2012.

However, it all came in a losing effort as Laurier fell 35-12 to the third-place Marauders.

“Everybody’s definitely happy to have a few points on the board,” said Laurier head coach Rob McQueen. “We worked on our offence a lot and got things tidied up, but now we’ve got defensive problems again.”

Mac jumped out to a 21-0 lead within the game’s opening 20 minutes, taking advantage of a Laurier squad that hadn’t played since Sept. 14.

“I feel like the two-week break might’ve been a bit detrimental,” said McQueen. “We were a little slow coming out of the gates and fell down 21-0 pretty quickly.”

Thomson’s try would bring the score to 21-7, however that’s as close as the Hawks would come. A pair of Marauder tries in the games final 15 minutes would seal the win for the visitors, keeping the Hawks winless on the season, dropping their record to 0-4.

The Hawks currently sit at the bottom of the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) standings, only ahead of the 0-3 University of Toronto Varsity Blues by virtue of point differential. However, with 12 points, Laurier is still the lowest scoring team in the league.

“We’ve been a little bit slow getting to the point of attack,” said McQueen of his team’s offensive struggles. “We haven’t been able to play quick-pace rugby and we’ve just got to get to breakdowns faster, get it, get out and play faster.”

Six of the nine OUA teams make the playoffs, so despite the 0-4 start; a playoff berth isn’t out of the question for the Golden Hawks. Especially considering their final four games come against Waterloo, Western, RMC and Toronto, with Western being the only remaining opponent with a winning record.

“We’re playing the kind of rugby that can still get us into playoffs,” said McQueen. “Our first four games were against the top four teams. We’ve still got Waterloo, RMC, U of T. If we win those three, we’re in.”

The Hawks were also dealt a blow as veteran Chris Pett had to leave the game with a shoulder injury early in the first half. McQueen said he would likely be out for at least a week or two.

The purple and gold’s next action comes Friday afternoon when they travel up University Avenue to take on the Waterloo Warriors. Game time is 4 p.m.

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