End of regular season at J.W.
Flying highwith Western's Robyn
Outsiders playoff preview
Predictions of play from the fringes
Keeping the pace with runner Jim Wardle
Catch the game while making history
Outsiders playoff preview
By Wes Brown
The Ontario University Athletic playoffs start this weekend and both the women's and the men's rugby titles are up for grabs.
The women's first round will feature two semi-final match ups. The number two ranked Western Mustangs play against the number three University of Waterloo Athenas and the number four ranked McMaster University Marauders battle last year's champions and number one ranked University of Guelph Gryphons.
The University of Toronto's head coach, Gina Minutilo, said even with a lot more parody in this year's league, she still gives an edge to the women from Guelph.
"They've got experience at the national and provincial levels and people haven't been able to shoot down their backs all season. I think it will be them and Waterloo in the finals with Guelph out-doing them," Minutilo said.
Queen's University head coach Peter Reid agreed with his colleague and said Guelph is going to come away with the victory, even though he would like to see someone beat them.
"Their record shows they have the strongest team. If you can shut down their offence with good defence then you have a shot. Western's defence is the strongest [of the other teams] so they might have a shot," Reid said.
As for the men number one ranked Western will face off against fourth ranked Waterloo, while second ranked Queen's will be taking on the third ranked Gryphons.
Toronto head coach Harry MacGregor said Western has the strongest team and he really hasn't heard anything about the other three universities which could dispute his feelings.
"I'm very impressed with everything about the Western team, not just on the field but off the field. The support, structure and ideals Gerry [Slattery] and his team have should be shared throughout the league," he said.
Royal Military College's head coach, Bob Parent, said there is definitely a lot of talent and background in this year's playoff teams, but said it will be Queen's and Western in the finals.
"During the regular season play, their game was decided by only one point. Queen's has always had this mystique of coming up big in the big games, but Western's coach has done a terrific job bringing that team up this season. It's going to be the best team on that day," Parent said.
The men play tomorrow at 1 p.m. at the Huron Flats while the women's game has been rescheduled to follow at 2:30 p.m..