Photo by Max Leveridge on Unsplash
On Saturday Oct. 15, Brock’s men’s rugby squad kicked off a two-game home stand against the University of Toronto Varsity Blues. In their second to last game before the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) playoffs, the Badgers came out looking to improve on a 2-2 record.
Brock started the season with a loss to Western but won the next two straight against McMaster University and Royal Military College. Their most recent effort was a lopsided 64-19 loss to the top-ranked Queen’s University.
The Varsity Blues on the other hand, have found themselves near the bottom of the table with an 0-4 record, setting up a solid opportunity for Brock to advance their standing.
The blustery conditions of a cold and windy afternoon quickly proved to be a factor for both sides, pushing kicks unpredictably across the field. As a result, neither side could get much offence going early, though Brock kept up good pressure to keep the ball in the UofT half.
Brock would eventually get the scoring started in the eighth minute when Ethan Robson made a great run to avoid a couple tackles and sprint the width of the field for an unimpeded try. However, the angle was tough and the wind stayed strong, so the conversion missed and the score remained 5-0.
The Badgers quickly broke out of their own end off the ensuing kickoff thanks to a nice run by Devon Ollson. The great field position would allow Reon White to score at 12:30, and a conversion put the Badgers up 12-0.
UofT would push back after the second try but would fail to score, having one turnover forced near Brock’s try line at the 15 minute mark, and another two minutes later that set up Daniel Froome to break deep downfield. Evan Bryant-McKay would get Brock’s third try at 19:45, putting Luke Bagshaw in excellent position for an easy conversion.
Though Brock would have trouble scoring for an extended period, the Varsity Blues would have just as much trouble due to poor passing. Brock continually capitalized on these errors to generate a lot of turnovers, eventually creating a try for Carter Filion.
UofT would get their only real break in the half when a player dodged a tackle and shed another for a big gain, but would squander it with another misplaced pass, starting a scrum at the 35th minute. The Badgers would march down field for a try from Mitchell Deuitch in the 40th minute, setting up another easy kick and leaving the half up 31-0.
Brock captured their first try and conversion of the half in just under seven minutes, giving them a commanding 38-0 lead. The half would remain mostly scoreless until a beautiful pass put Brock 43-0 at 59, and a tough angle kick stretched it further to 45-0.
The Varsity Blues would grab a consolation try at the 66th minute when Brock tipped a UofT line-in that unfortunately fell right into the UofT’s player’s arms. They however missed the kick keeping the score 45-5.
Brayden McReelis would tack on another try with 1:15 remaining that would stand as the final score of the game for a resounding 52-5 Badgers victory.
The Badgers play the University of Guelph Gryphons on Saturday Oct. 22 at home in their final regular season game. Their full schedule and results can be found on their gobadgers.ca page.