The Brock Badgers went up against an undeniable rugby powerhouse in the semi-finals of the OUA playoffs. Queen’s University defeated Brock 61-21 in a game that didn’t see a single Badger point until well into the second half.
Queen’s led 40-0 at the half but the Badgers were able to regroup and put some points on the board. Queen’s defence has been incredible all year, in addition to hitting opponents with an unmanageable barrage of offense, they manage to shut down almost all of their opponents’ scoring opportunities and allowing few tries. It was Zach Zorbas who finally managed to crack their defence — it took 61 minutes. Ultimately, it would be too late for the Badgers to mount a comeback.
“It was a tough physical game,” said head coach Phil Sullivan. “We did some things very well and scored the most points against Queen’s of any team this year, so that was good. But they brought a lot of pressure and we made some mistakes and could not execute well under that pressure.”
Queen’s went 6-0 this season, averaging 49 points per game, and just nine points allowed per game; there was never any doubt that it would be Queen’s moving on to the finals. Brock, on the other hand, were 3-3 in the regular season with an average 25 points scored and 22 points allowed.
This season marked a turnaround for a team that went 1-7 last year. Of those seven losses, one of them was to Queen’s, 109-0, another was to Laurier, 123-0.
“We are healthier than last year and got some talented recruits and transfers. Also the guys who returned from last year really were committed to improving the team,” said Sullivan.
While the Badgers and the Gaels were battling to move on to the gold medal game, Guelph and Trent were doing the same. The Gryphons won their game 53-7, and will have the opportunity to bar Queen’s from winning their third straight OUA championship. Trent will take on Brock in the bronze medal game, this will be the first time the team’s play one another this season. They averaged 25 points scored (although when their 55-0 blow-out against Toronto is removed they drop to 20) and 30 points against in the regular season.
Queen’s will host the gold medal game on November 10 at 1:00 p.m., according to the Guelph Gryphons website. Brock will be hosting the bronze medal game, loosely scheduled for Nov. 9. A time is yet to be announced. Tickets are free and the game will take place on Alumni Field.