On Saturday, Oct. 1, Alumni Field saw a 4 p.m. standoff between the Brock Badgers men’s rugby squad and their counterparts, the Royal Military College (RMC) Paladins. Brock’s previous game was a tightly fought 25-18 affair against McMaster University on Sep. 24, which was preceded by a 12-26 loss to Western University. This was Brock’s first regular season home game of the year.
In their last match at home — an exhibition game against York University — Brock won by an astounding 103-5 margin against a clearly overmatched non-OUA opponent. RMC entered the match as the lowest ranked team in the OUA with an 0-2 record and a -96 point differential.
Brock got to work early in the game. Two tries by Flanker Zach Zorbas allowed the Badgers to jump out to an early lead. Keeping the ball predominantly in the Paladins end, Brock exited the first half up 12-5.
The intensity would pick up from there on out. A nice move by S\scrum half Devon Ollson and a convert by Reon White would start the scoring early, putting the Badgers ahead 19-5. Tempers would start to flare with a number of aggressive tackles and fouls for both sides.
The aggression, however, would not help RMC much. Brock had a deep drive into Paladin territory, which came up short but was followed up by a successful one courtesy of Carter Filion.
RMC would eventually make a push, blocking a kick deep in the Brock half. Brock would be pinned near their try line for several minutes before eventually relinquishing a try to RMC. RMC would, however, miss the conversion, keeping Brock comfortably ahead 26-10.
At this point, the trash talk really amped up between the sides. Particularly in the scrums RMC and Brock could be heard having words with each other. In one such instance, a scrum collapsed in the RMC half, giving Brock a penalty kick with less than 10 minutes remaining. Luke Bagshaw would convert on the opportunity, giving Brock a 29-10 advantage.
Brock would continue to charge towards RMC’s try line all evening, which did nothing to alleviate the combative air. The Badgers suffocated RMC’s offence, made long runs down field to relieve pressure and forced turnovers in RMC’s half.
The long runs were particularly noticeable. Badgers were able to absorb contact either to increase distance or to make passes to keep the play alive. Additionally, Brock looked crafty, slick and deceptive all night, aiding in their ability to pick up big gains. Badgers could be seen making body and ball fakes alike or making timely passes to avoid RMC’s defence. This culminated in a final try by Nash Ramsay who got open to receive a pass on one such play.
The last-minute point would secure a 34-10 win for Brock, improving to 2-1 on the season.
Brock’s next game is an away match with the Queen’s University Gaels next Saturday, Oct. 8. The rugby season wraps up with a two game homestand against the University of Toronto on Oct. 15 and Guelph University on Oct. 22.
The Badgers’ full schedule and results can be seen on their GoBadgers page.