Mac rugby players win bronze, praise

After two highly competitive days at the 2012 National University Rugby 7s Championship, the McMaster men finished fourth in the country, after falling to University of Victoria, 24-19, in a close Bronze medal game.

In the pool stage of the two-day tournament, McMaster defeated Saskatchewan, 26-0, and Alberta, 15-5, before losing a tight game to UBC, 14-5, a gold medal game finalist.

On day two, McMaster dispatched the higher ranked Calgary Dinos, 27-19, which moved the Marauders through to the championship semi-final where they would again face UBC.

Mike Paris was a standout for McMaster with a number of individual breaks through the defensive line. McMaster fell behind early which is a big problem in 7s rugby where the halves only last seven minutes. Despite the slow start the Marauders battled hard to make a good game of it and came close to stealing the game in the final minute but UBC would prevail 24-12.

The bronze medal game against Victoria was amazing and a real credit to the McMaster team. With the Canadian 7s team located at Victoria, the opposing team was loaded with national team members. Despite that, McMaster only lost by five points, 24-19, with the game remaining in the balance into the dying seconds. The result was not what the Marauders wanted, but finishing fourth in Canada exceeded expectations going into the tournament.

National team member Tyler Ardom was tremendous for the Marauders. Having just returned from playing for Canada at the Las Vegas 7’s Tournament – the USA leg of the World Rugby Circuit – his combination of patience, experience, skill and presence was invaluable to the team.

McMaster garnered high praise from Canada 7s coach Geraint John. Following the tournament, McMaster players Tyler Ardron, Cam Stones and Andrew Ferguson stayed in Victoria to join Canada’s national team squad as they prepare for an upcoming international test match. Chris Gordon and Paris both made a strong impression on national team selectors and earned chances to join Canada’s newest Olympic sport.