Volume 92, Issue 29

Tuesday, October 27, 1998

purple haze


SPORTS
 

Male ruggers destroy Yeoman by 80 points



©Tom Baumgartner/Gazette


HITCHING A RIDE. York was looking for any way into the endzone including on the backs of Western players as they got smooshed 83-3 in weekend action.

By Sean Maraj

Gazette Writer

The ride home for the York men's rugby team on Saturday probably wasn't a happy one.

Especially after the 83-3 drubbing handed to them by the now 5-2 Western men's rugby team. After two weeks without any game action, the Mustangs expected to be a little rusty but performed like a well-oiled machine, right from the opening scrum.

All doubts were put aside early, as five minutes into the game Mustang Jesse Henkenhaf ran across the goal line for a try, followed by a conversion by Ed Gardner, giving Western an early seven point lead. Although jumping to an early lead, the effects of being off the playing field for two weeks began to show.

Later in the game, York put some pressure on Western's defence and were able to score three points off of a penalty kick. However, this was all York was able to muster. Western turned things around after Dave Denoble broke through the York defence and passed the ball to Rob Werstine, who took it to the goal line. This eventually led to Colin Shaw scoring a try for another five points.

After this play the floodgates opened and York was swept away. Western attacked with a well-rounded offensive effort with Jim Leetch, Henkenhaf and Shaw each scoring a try, while Oren Smith scored two more to add to the route.

There was some doubt, after two weeks off and with the playoffs looming, about how good a showing the team would display against York. After this win, however, all doubts have been put aside.

Ed Gardner, the star of the game with three tries and seven converts, was happy with the level of play displayed by the Mustangs.

"The game went really well considering we haven't played in a couple of weeks," Gardner said. "We never gave up and it was a good way to lead into the playoffs."

Coach Gerry Slattery was also quick to point out how this game was important in helping the team return to top form.

"The first half was a sort of a getting to know you half," he said. "It was during this time the players were getting reacquainted. By the second half they were married and working well as a team."

The team is off to face a tough Queen's squad in the provincial semi-final in Kingston on Saturday. After the victory over York, Gardner is very confident about the team's chances in the playoffs.

"It's our playoffs to win. If we go there and play our game, we'll win."


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