Guelph, Ont. – The Gryphon men's rugby team shutout the Brock Badgers 18-0 Saturday afternoon at Alumni Stadium in an OUA semi-final match. The Gryphons now move on to the OUA finals next Saturday (Nov. 8) where they will face the Queen's Gaels in Kingston.
After a 7-1 regular season record, the Gryphons earned a first-round bye and came into their semi-final matchup with the Badgers well rested. During the regular season, the Gryphons and Badgers met up once (in the season opener, which Guelph won 45-3). Points would prove to be much harder to come by for the Gryphons on Saturday, but a highlight reel 50-metre sprint for a try by Martin Damianoff (Guelph, Ont.) would electrify the crowd at Alumni Stadium and give Guelph a 5-0 lead in the 14th minute. This match also featured several heated moments in what was a physical affair between the two rivals. In the 29th minute, the Gryphons would be forced to play short-handed temporarily after senior Adam Maahs (Port Perry, Ont.) was given a yellow card for a shoulder charge. Nevertheless, the Gryphons controlled play throughout the first half. Eric Charest-Pekeski (Barrie, Ont.) had a big day for the Gryphons, contributing on both sides of the ball. Shortly after a nice strip by Charest-Pekeski, Eric Howard (Ottawa, Ont.) would score a try to extend Guelph's lead to 10-0. Joe Newman (Waterdown, Ont.) would make good on the conversion giving the Gryphons a 12-0 lead.
Newman would add a pair of penalty kicks in the second half to push the lead to 18-0. The two teams had to be broken up after tempers flared in Brock's end of the field late in the second half. In the end, no yellor or red cards were handed out and cooler heads would prevail. It would also prove to be the last fight the Badgers would put up on this day as they were shutout on the afternoon.
The Gryphons will now travel to Kingston to try to defeat the two-time defending OUA champion Gaels. If the Gryphons are able to pull off the upset, they will take home their first Turner Trophy since the 1998-1999 season.
Source: Guelph Gryphons