OUA M-RUGBY ROUNDUP

TORONTO, Ont. - The Toronto Varsity Blues men's rugby team notched their first win of the 2008 season with a 19-0 shutout of Trent University at the University of Toronto’s Scarborough campus field on Saturday.

The Blues applied pressure early, forcing the Excalibur into giving away a penalty in front of the posts three minutes into the game. Toronto’s Alex Koppel stepped up to kick the penalty to make it 3-0 Toronto.

Seven minutes later it was more of the same and Koppel would make good on the penalty kick to increase the Blues lead to 6-0.

Trent would miss their kick at goal for a Toronto transgression.

In the 17th minute, U of T broke the defensive line of the right side of the pitch. Left winger Tom Oh was there in support, kicking ahead before he was tackled by the Trent fullback. With the ball sitting in-goal, Toronto fullback was able to spin ahead from an onside position to touch down for the game's first try. The conversion was wide and now Toronto led 11-0.

With two minutes left in the first half, Trent was again under pressure at their 22. Their clearance kick was charged down by Blues fly-half Kelvin Wong, who followed up to score Toronto's second try. The Blues led 16-0 at the end of one.

"It was a great team effort and it was a badly needed win. Not having felt that way in a while, it was good for the players to feel that satisfaction," stated head coach Garth Gottfried.

The Excalibur would turn the tide around in the second half, applying the pressure and pinning the Blues deep in their end. Toronto’s defence was up to the challenge and kept their visitors at bay and off the score sheet.

In the final 15 minutes of the match, Toronto was again dominant but was unable to finish several good opportunities. One more penalty goal from Koppel late in the game added three more points as the Blues came away with a 19-0 victory.

"Everyone knows that we are capable of better, and now that we are getting healthy numbers at training, it's time to take it up to the next level," added Garth.

Source: Varsity Blues Athletics

GUELPH 24, LAURIER 8

WATERLOO, Ont. - The Guelph Gryphons men’s rugby team picked up their second straight win of the year as they defeated the Laurier Golden Hawks 24-8 in Waterloo on Saturday afternoon.

Early in the first half, Guelph opened the scoring with a try by Thomas Sobotka (Mississauga, Ont.). Sobotka received a pass deep in Guelph's own end and used his speed and agility to side step a few would-be tacklers and made a 60-metre run for the try. Sean Gowland (Toronto, Ont.) followed with the conversion.

Guelph continued to pressure the Hawks to the point that they conceded a penalty right in front of their posts, again Gowland was sure with his foot to hit the kick. Play continued and Guelph again was on the receiving end of some good passing and Kyle Steeves (Aurora, Ont.) was the next to score for the Gryphons. Gowland again was on with the foot to hit the conversion. At the end of the first half, the Gryphons had a commanding 17-0 lead.

The second half opened up and play went back and forth between the two teams. The Gryphons were the first to error and were penalized deep in their own end. The Laurier kicker was good with the penalty kick. Wanting to put the game away, the Gryphons again strung some fantastic passing together and Sobotka made his way in for his second try of the day. Gowland not wanting to be out done, was good with the conversion.

Now leading the Hawks 24-3, the Gryphons felt that they had the game in hand. Their play slid and the Hawks were able to score a try in the last 5 minutes of the game.

Source: Gryphons Athletics

BROCK 65, RMC 0

ST. CATHARINES, Ont. - The defending OUA Champion Brock University men's rugby team opened the 2008 regular season with a 65-0 victory over the Royal Military College Paladins Saturday afternoon at home.

From the opening kickoff, it was clear the day would belong to the Badgers.

Within the very first minute of the game, the Badgers had the Paladins on their heels. Pressure from the forward pack created a quick turnover, and the ball ended up in the hands of Adrian Lui (Oakville, Ont.) for the opening score of the season.

Two more quick scores were added off of scrums, by Matt McIlvaney (Stoney Creek, Ont.) and 2007 OUA Rookie of the Year Rory McDonell (Brantford, Ont.). From there on in, the Badgers were devastating on defence, and just as strong on offence.

McDonell led all scorers with 25 points adding one try, seven converts and two penalty kicks. McIlvaney and Mike Berry (Trenton, Ont.) added two tries each. Lui, Levon Kvas-Rothwell (St. Catharines, Ont.), Brad Van Den Enden (Oshawa, Ont.) and Matthew Alexander (Oshawa, Ont.) all chipped in with one try each in the victory.

Source: Badgers Athletics

In other OUA action, the Western Mustangs defeated the Waterloo Warriors 29-8, while the McMaster Marauders blanked the Windsor Lancers 62-0.
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