It may not have been pretty, but the Brock Men’s Rugby team managed to finish the regular season on a high note. The Badgers knocked off Trent 14-13 in a game that was closer than the Badgers were hoping for.
With a playoff spot already secured, the Badgers went into Saturday’s game against Trent looking to build some confidence heading into the postseason. After starting the season off 3-0, Brock struggled in the second half of their season, posting a 1-3 record through their next four games. Trent would be the last chance for the Badgers to find their stride before playoffs. At 0-7 coming into the game, Trent found themselves at the bottom of the standings, but were motivated to end their season on a positive note.
Brock got out to an early 7-0 lead, but struggled to generate any sort of sustained attack for the rest of the first half. The majority of the half became a battle for field position, with both teams committing plenty of unforced errors. It was clear that while Trent was winless going into the game, they had no intentions of ending their season without a fight. They were able to convert two penalty kicks in the half, making the score 7-6 going into halftime. Trent had been building momentum in the half, and despite being down on the scoreboard seemed to have control of the game heading into the second half.
To start the second half, the struggles for Brock continued. The Badgers had difficulty gaining yards, and struggled to maintain possession of the ball. Trent threatened to score on multiple occasions, but just couldn’t finish a drive. Both teams added a try in the second half, and the game ended in a 14-13 win for the Badgers. It didn’t go as planned, but the result is what Brock needed in their last regular season game.
Both team’s were making mistakes, but it looked like the Badgers underestimated the amount of fight Trent was going to put up in this match. Brock’s leading scorer, Ryan Hickey, gave Trent credit for their game, but recognized that the Badgers hadn’t performed to the level they were expecting to.
“It was a bit of both. We had a big game against them last year, we knew they wanted to beat us again this year. They were 0-7 coming in so they were obviously looking for a big win to end the season. But I think our mistakes cost us a lot of the time today.”
Brock now has to turn their attention to their playoff game next weekend. While they wait to see who they will play, the Badgers will need to work on playing their game in order to succeed in the postseason. For Brock, this means making the game simple again. That includes limiting their mistakes and forcing their opponents to commit turnovers.
“Just going back to basics, making our tackles, sticking to our systems, moving the ball the way we want to move it, and unlike today trying to limit our mistakes.”
The Badgers are underdogs heading into the playoffs, but as the team proved earlier in the season, they’re capable of stringing together a run of strong performances. It’s important for them to find that form again, and there is no better time than right now to do that. Limiting their mistakes and turnovers will be critical to competing with the top teams in the league. This game against Trent could prove to be more valuable than just a regular season game, it could be the game that helped the Badgers find their game again.