The Western Mustangs and the McMaster Marauders head to Fletchers Field on Sunday (Nov. 14) in hopes over becoming the next Ontario University Athletics men’s rugby champion.
The Mustangs went undefeated this season with eight wins. The last time Western won the OUA title was in 2003. The Marauders are no strangers to the OUA Finals. In the past 10 years McMaster has been named OUA champions five times. Known for their success in men’s rugby, the 6-1-1 Marauders will be looking to add another title to their list.
The last time these two teams met was the last game of the regular season. As McMaster looked to put a dent in Western’s perfect record, the Mustangs defensive core would not allow it as they stopped the Marauders and came out winners in a 14-8 decision.
From an individual standpoint, the Western Mustangs have three of the leagues top ten scorers. Second-year Tom Bridger (Victoria, B.C.) finished the regular season with 66 points in seven games, good for fourth spot. Tied for sixth spot is third-year Rory Tomlinson (Allison) with eight tries and tenth spot goes to third-year Andrew Crow (Victoria, B.C.) having scored 30 points in the regular season. Last year, Western lost in the finals to the Queen’s Gaels and will be hungry for the title.
Despite the fact that they’re heading into the match having already suffered a loss at the hands of the Mustangs this season, the McMaster Marauders are certainly capable of taking home OUA gold. With four players at the top of the league in scoring, McMaster has a lot to brag about. Four players combined for 167 of McMaster’s 278 points in the regular season. These players include fifth-place scorer Andrew Ferguson (Mississauga), sixth place Tyle Ardron (Lakefield), eighth place Christopher Gordon (Pickering) and ninth place Timothy Doucette (Fredericton, N.B.). McMaster’s last championship was won just two years ago when they defeated Queen’s.
After winning the 2009 OUA title, the Gaels had an unfortunate fall from grace this season. Finishing third in the league with a 6-2 record, the former Turner Trophy winning team was just a faint 2009 memory and will play the 5-2-1 Brock Badgers in the consolation game on Sunday morning.
The Badgers and Gaels played once in the last week of the regular season. In a tight match, Queen’s was able to pull out the win in the dying minutes of the game. The 16-15 score makes the bronze medal match a game to see.
The Badgers 15 points that afternoon came from two tries, scored by third-year Matthew Alexander (Oshawa) and second-year Benjamyn Harmer (Scarborough), accompanied by Samuel Rimmer’s (Cheltenham) five points on a conversions and a penalty. For the Gaels, first-year David Worsley (Vancouver) nailed two penalty goals. Queen’s also received tries from veteran Mike Wong (Barrie) and Henry McQueen (Vancouver) to total 16.
Brock’s Rimmer proved to be a headache for teams all season. In only his second year, he finished second in league scoring with 79 points. The Badger scored seven tries, 10 converts and eight penalty goals.