Volume 93, Issue 12

Wednesday, March 18, 1999


Western ready to cook Gryphons

Ruggers thwart invading Warriors

A smashing season

Millenium Moment

Ruggers thwart invading Warriors

By Kevin Smith
Gazette Writer

"They will attack," were the opening words from the University of Waterloo's head coach Dan Ingoldsby and the Western men's rugby team played on Wednesday as if this was a prophecy. Western was able to open their season with a win over the Warriors by an score of 52-12.

Western charged their opposition from the kick-off. It only took 15 minutes for the Mustangs to begin their offensive bombardment and make the Waterloo try area feel like home.

Approaching halftime, frustration began to show on the Warriors, as Waterloo's play was bogged down by penalties.

Western's season debut was led by the thrilling play of winger Rob Woolfenden who led their attack with three tries – the result of some hard fought runs against the Waterloo defence.

"It is a pleasure to play with so many talented players," Woolfenden said after the game, praising his Western teammates rather than taking all the credit.

Fly-half Simon Rogers also displayed his own brand of receiving and a hard working style which aided him in scoring one try and adding on extra points after every try scored.

Although the game got choppy as play continued and Waterloo began to sink further and further behind, the Western players did not seem bothered. Head coach Gerry Slattery was very impressed with the play of his squad and was quick to praise the Warriors', despite their poor showing.

"It was a way good start to the season, Waterloo's play is not to be understated," he said.

As the team moves on from this victory, they must contend with new faces leading the team. The Mustangs this year are led by the experience of Aaron Abrams, a flanker along with co-captain center Oren Smith. While playing exceptional rugby, Abrams and Smith have to take the young Western team under their collective wings and show them the ropes of university rugby. Slattery had nothing but praise and optimism for the Mustangs as they prepare to invade the top of the Ontario University Athletics conference this year.

"We're adding something new every game, we are constantly learning," he said.

Although the development of his team continues, Slattery had many good things to say about them, including how well they were able to handle the ball. He added he feels the team's chemistry is getting better as the players begin to gel together.

Ingoldsby made notice of the Mustang's play in the postgame interview, focusing on the tactics of the man who finished off the Warriors. "Simon is a very deceptive rugby player," he said of Rogers.

Fly-half Lyndsay Bast and winger Charles Schofield scored midway through the second half for Waterloo, but the Mustangs were already well ahead and simply too much for the Warriors.

Western's b-squad was also triumphant as they beat the Warriors' b-squad 49-7. Western's next game is Saturday against the Guelph Gryphons at the Huron Flats.

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Copyright The Gazette 1999