The men’s rugby team lost this Saturday in a hard fought battle against the McMaster Marauders.
Following a 75-5 loss against Laurier last week, the Badgers were determined to improve their game, both offensively and defensively. The Badgers were able to find the lead early but found themselves unable to keep up as McMaster scored try after try, consistently denying Brock players any opportunity to reclaim a lead. The men consistently put up points, but it seemed that for every try they scored, McMaster would answer back with two of their own.
Midway through the first half of the game, the Badgers were trailing 14-5. By the end of the first, Brock had successfully narrowed the gap, with scoring a try in the final minute of the half for a final half-time score of 14-10.
As they left the field for halftime, they discussed adjustments that they could make to get back into the game. The second half began and for a moment it looked hopeful, the Badgers looked determined and energized and ready to play their best game. Fortune was not on their side, however as McMaster came back strong to score 14 points, Brock scored five in that same time.
With 27 minutes left in the second half, the men began angling for a comeback. Ultimately, McMaster outplayed them, scoring two tries and kicking two conversions to earn 14 more points. Brock once again, scored a single try but missed the conversion.
The final whistle blew and the men walked off the pitch, having lost by 18. Everyone was in good spirits, discussing what worked, what didn’t work, and what they would take from this experience moving forward.
None of the players went into this game expecting it to be easy. McMaster is a challenging team and Coach Phil Sullivan is impressed with the way his Brock players stepped up. Everyone, from the rookies to the veterans played a better game than they did last week.
The team positioned themselves better, both offensively and defensively. They addressed the issues they had encountered with their game last week and used it to build moving forward.
The Badgers are a young team and many of the players are still adjusting to being university students as well as athletes. This season is shaping up to be a season of growth for the Badgers. This growth may cost them a few wins along the way but in the end, they are building a team of strong young athletes with a desire to play their best game every day.
Many of the forwards had outstanding games, charging ahead with an intensity. Tim Sullivan and Brendan Long had strong performances, while Carter Bondy led the team in scoring with two tries for ten of the team’s 20 points. George Bocock was particularly adept in stepping up to face this challenging team. Zach Zorbas and Devon Ollson scored a single try each.
Ollson is playing his first year of university rugby, last week he came off the bench to sub in at the end of the first half, this week he played the full 80 minutes, powering through brutal heat and intense gameplay from McMaster.
Saturday’s score tells the story of a team who is struggling but ultimately looking ahead and becoming better together.
The men are set to take on Queen’s in an away game next Saturday at 1:00 p.m. If the Badgers continue learning from these early losses, they could develop into an interesting team to watch.