Volume 95, Issue 10

Tuesday, September 18, 2001
 
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SPORTS

Fumbles mar Mustang victory over Laurier

Men's soccer start perfect

The Western who?

'Stangs record continues to improve

Ruggers pull out one point win

Ruggers pull out one point win

Western squeaks past Guelph in thriller


By Pat Kane
Gazette Staff


Lauren Starr/Gazette
TED WOULD MAKE SURE HE WOULDN'T LOSE "GILBERT," LIKE TOM HANKS LOST WILSON, NO MATTER WHAT. A Mustang rugger attempts to elude the flailing Guelph Gryphons.

The Huron Flats showcased a duel between Ontario University Athletics conference giants Guelph and Western, in Sunday afternoon's men's rugby action.

The Mustangs came away with a 10-9 win in the second game of their regular season; a game where tight defense overshadowed two typically powerful offenses.

"Western was great today, but our defense played exceptional," said Guelph's head coach, Gary Whitley.

"It was very physical on the field, which made it difficult to score many tries. There weren't many places to go because the defense was so tight," he added.

On the scoreboard, it was a see-saw battle with only one try scored in the game when Western went ahead 7-3 on Guelph. The Gryphons answered back with six more points on penalties, giving them a two point lead nearing the end of the match. Andrew Dole appeared to have enough of Guelph's tom-foolery and nailed a three point penalty kick to secure Western's win.

While the win improves Western's record, Mustang head coach Gerry Slattery said he is more concerned with improving his club's performance.

"We played a poor first half and were flat offensively. Our decisionmaking was not good in many instances, but I felt some of the younger guys, like Sean-Michael Stevens really stepped up. We need to be more focused on our performance. Overall though, it was a good win for the club," Slattery said.

Mustang winger Derek Richardson echoed many of Slattery's sentiments.

"We had a slow first half, but began to pick it up in the second. If we would have played the entire game the way we played in the second half, we would have put up more numbers," he said.

"Our forwards played well, but I thought we were a bit hesitant sometimes. Guelph has a very good team and it was tough trying break their tackles," Richardson added.

The match gave Western an idea of what they need to build on for the year. It was one of the first true tests Western has faced in two seasons. Last year, the Mustangs captured the OUA title, but the team has lost many key players to graduation.

Slattery is looking for his veterans to step up and hopes his first-year players can assemble a nucleus for the remainder of the season and into the next few seasons.

"We have a young team this year. Our main project will be to work on our chemistry. Many of these guys have never played together before, so we must work together and improve our decision making, intensity and focus," Slattery said.

The Mustangs hope these changes help them come away with a third straight win when they host Windsor this Wednesday at 4 p.m..


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

Copyright The Gazette 2001