Volume 92, Issue 34

Wednesday, November 4, 1998

millions of bad feelings


Mustangs clip Golden Gaels on route to finals

Dipesh Mistry/Gazette

THE SALESWOMAN SAID THIS TOUQUE WAS ALL THE RAGE. The Mustangs forfeited their fashion sense in place of coming out on top of Queen's 16-9 in the rugby OUA semifinals Saturday.

By Jamil Jalal Jaffer

Gazette Staff

There was a changing of the guard this weekend in Kingston, Ontario, as the Western men's rugby teams defeated Queen's in the semifinals of the OUA championship.

In a tight fought match, the perennial season favourite, Queen's, bowed out in a solid showing against the Mustangs, 16-9. Jim Leatch had a try to open the scoring early in the match and captain Rob Werstine added another five points and the Mustangs never looked back.

Western rarely allowed Queen's to develop any momentum, holding their line for most of the game. Co-captain Ed Gardner was very satisfied with the win and felt they should have won by more.

Queen's coach Al Ferguson, on the other hand, said with a few less mistakes, his squad would have come away with another trip to the finals.

"We had the opportunities," a disappointed Ferguson said. "We didn't take advantage of them."

The second half was a more tense, but Simon Rogers sealed the victory with a drop kick close to the completion of 80 minutes. Also in on the second half scoring was Gardner who scored on a penalty.

Mustang head coach Gerry Slattery was pleased with the result. "We were very flat last time, but we have worked very hard on our team cohesion, team pride, team unity and team camaraderie," he said.

Slattery was quick to praise his squad but also quick in keeping them focused. "We would be very foolish to think we can loosen the reigns and give them space," he said, in reference to Guelph, who they face in the finals. "Historically it was a very good win for the program versus Queens, but it won't mean anything if we don't beat Guelph."

The Mustangs will be visiting the top ranked Gryphons in the final on Saturday at 3 p.m.. Slattery, who predicted Guelph would be playing in final, is convinced if his club plays their game they are as good as anyone.

Western, who beat Guelph in the semifinals last year, have split their league matches with the Gryphons this year.

According to Guelph head coach Jim Atkinson, winning is the only thing on his club's mind. "We have no interest in anything else but a win."

Neither team is short on confidence, as this game looks to be a great contest of speed, power, intensity and focus.

To Contact The Sports Department: gazette.sports@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright The Gazette 1998