Struggling for consistency
Winless in three is not the way head coach Rob McQueen wanted to start his season.
But the Wilfrid Laurier University men’s rugby team was unable to break through against the visiting Brock Badgers Friday, and have yet to win — or score — in three games.
“A lot of the problems we’re having right now are results of inexperience and not enough prep time,” McQueen said. “We’ve had injuries early in the season and we’ve had a few coaching losses so the players are still laying with a bit of confusion and they’re not certain of their roles yet.”
After going 0-2 against the forces of Queen’s and Guelph, Laurier looked for redemption against the first-place Brock Badgers.
But inconsistencies and bad bounces became pivotal factors in sealing the Hawks’ losing fate.
Brock’s second try was a result of an awkward bounce off a kick, where the ball ended up staying in bounds and the Badgers recovered it.
Laurier generated offence, but found no way to the goal line.
“They had two opportunities to score and they capitalized. We had several and didn’t,” McQueen said.
So, what’s next?
McQueen stressed that the purple and gold need to find some way to fix the broken pieces before they play their next five games.
“That’s just causing ripple effects in terms of dropped balls and mistakes and stuff. So again, we aren’t capitalizing because of uncertainty and lack of confidence and dropping the ball under pressure when it counts.”
The small mistakes that are hurting the Hawks will be a main focus this next week, as the team has 14 days off between their two games.
Their next match will be against the McMaster Marauders on Sept. 28 at home, with plenty of time to mend their broken parts.
“We’ve got a bye week this week so there’s no game to prep for and we’ve got a lot of time to get everyone’s head straight and cleared up,” McQueen said.
With five games left, the Hawks will need to win at least three to contend for the final few spots.
But McQueen believes that his team will be able to win the majority of their final games. Western will be their biggest contest, but Laurier should be able to battle with every other opponent coming up.
They just need to mend their mistakes, get healthy and focus on their roles.
“It’s just a matter of time, really,” he said. “We’ve got quite a few guys back from injury now. We’ve got lots of time to get things clear on everyone’s mind and hopefully that results in better execution.
“[And] as long as we make the playoffs, get healthy, who knows. Anything can happen then.”
After McMaster, the Hawks will travel to Waterloo, Western and RMC before finishing off at home against Toronto.
And what’s McQueen’s goal for his final games?
“Win them all.”