A strong first half showing was overturned in the second, as the McMaster lost its opening game of Ontario University Athletics men’s rugby, 24-16, at the hands of the Guelph Gryphons.
The visiting Marauders led 10-5 at the break, but were beaten by a late offensive surge by the hosts. McMaster drew to within a point – 17-16 – but couldn’t fully overturn the deficit.
Veteran Marauder scrum half Andrew Ferguson led all scorers with 11 points in the loss, notching three penalties and a convert, while fourth-year flanker Ryan Natale added a try. Eric Charest-Pekeski was the top scorer among the winners, scoring 10 points on two tries, while Scott Sopel and Stephen Seccareccia also had tries to their names.
McMaster has just more than a week to prepare for a bounce-back effort, as the Marauders meet the RMC Paladins at home on Sunday, Sept. 15.