Men’s rugby finishes fifth at nationals

Photo Credit: Mackenzie Gerry

Photo Credit: Mackenzie Gerry

The Brock Badgers men’s rugby team wrapped up their season last week at the Canadian University Championships in Montreal.

The team finished fifth in the country, winning the consolation final against McGill.

In the opening round, the Badgers took on the No. 1 UBC Thunderbirds, but ultimately lost 56-10 to the eventual runner-ups.

Fourth-year Cillian O’Brien scored the team’s only try, third-year Carter Bondy kicked a conversion and third-year Steven Commerford scored a penalty kick, while third-year Nathan Percy was named player of the game.

“[UBC] really played the game at a pace and level significant above that in the OUA and we learned some lessons from that,” said Badgers head coach Phil Sullivan.

In the consolation semifinals, Brock faced Guelph. The Badgers managed to upset the Gryphons 19-8, after losing 47-14 to their OUA West rivals last month.

Third-year David Froome, first-year Myles Maloney and second-year Devon Ollson each scored a try for the Badgers, while Commerford kicked two conversions and fourth-year Zach Zorbas was named player of the match.

Brock moved on to the consolation final (in reality the fifth place match) against McGill. The Badgers took the match 26-14, securing 5th place in the country. Bondy, Ollson and Victory Eichie each scored a try, while Commerford added one of his own and two conversions. Eichie was named player of the game for his efforts.

“Both games [Guelph and McGill] were very physical contests that we led for most of each game but always stayed close,” said Sullivan. “[It was a] full team effort as we had eight tries, scored by seven different players across the three games.”

Mitch Santilli was named a first-team tournament All-Star, while Commerford, Eichie and Zorbas were named second-team tournament all-stars.

“I’m definitely very proud of the team, particularly the graduating players [Eichie, Zorbas, O’Brien, Sean Fraser, Joseph Tello and Zac White],” said Sullivan. “This was a fantastic year and a great response to last year’s [1-7] record.  It’s the first time Brock has qualified for the nationals and it is a fantastic accomplishment to finish the season ranked fifth in the [country].”

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