Volume 92, Issue 15

Tuesday, September 29, 1998



Ruggers lead school of hard knocks

Dipesh Mistry /Gazette
LIKE A KNIFE THROUGH BUTTER. Mustang Chad Tranter [7] slices through the opposition during Western's romping of Waterloo 58-3 on Sunday.

By Ian Ross
Gazette Staff

The Mustang rugby team took the role of the vengeful instructor with the Waterloo Warriors on Saturday – schooling them to a score of 58-3 on the Western rugby pitch.

Western's Kyler Petrie led the lessons for Western with four tries on the afternoon, while teammates Jesse Hinkenhaf, Oren Smith, Eddie Gardner, Tim Leach and Simon Rodgers added one a piece.

"Our players were very enterprising and creative with the plays," Western coach Gerry Slattery said. "We also executed plays we have worked on in practice. That should give us some breathing space in later games."

As for Waterloo, the result of the game was not entirely surprising. The last time these two squads faced-off was two weeks ago and Western destroyed the Warriors 70-3.

Playing in their first season at the varsity level, the Warriors are attempting to climb a very steep learning curve after being promoted from the "B" division during the off-season.

"They are building and are still young and inexperienced," Slattery said about the reason for the large difference in scoring.

Waterloo coach Josh Windsor agreed. He pointed to experience as the decisive factor in rugby, which has a much older peak age than most major athletic endeavors.

"Western has three or four Canadian (national) players while we are 50 per cent first-year athletes," he said. "It was young boys playing against men.

"Rugby is all about experience. The longer you have to develop, the better you get."

Windsor also said the established programs at Western and Queen's will create even more of a challenge in the future as Waterloo looks to further develop their own system and reputation.

"Western and Queen's fight over the best players and the rest of us are left picking over what is left," he added.

So with the outcome of the game forecasted long before the first whistle, Western went into the game not expecting much of a challenge but warming up for provincial rival Queen's, who they face next weekend in Kingston.

"We tried to use [Saturday] to implement the right style of play going into Queen's," said Western captain Rob Werstine. "We worked on that, but this was still not the ideal warm-up game to do so.

"This type of game can be something that is tough to get up for. We did it though and I'm happy with how intense we played."

Such a problem should not be a concern at Queen's on Saturday, as Western faces a peer instead of a pupil on the rugby pitch.

"Queen's hasn't lost two championships since 1980," Slattery said. "That should be enough incentive right there."

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

Copyright The Gazette 1998