Mustangs win battle of rivals
By Aron Yeomanson
I ALWAYS THE ONE THAT GETS LIFTED? A player from Western's
men's rugby team prepares to receive the dreaded atomic
wedgie from his teammates.
The Western Mustangs men's rugby team improved their record
to a perfect 2-0 on Saturday when they defeated the Queen's
Golden Gaels 23-18.
"Any time you play a team like Western, it's a difficult game,
Homecoming or not," said Gaels coach Herb Steacy. "It's a good
rivalry between Western and us, but it's all in good spirits."
Continuing their long rivalry with Queen's, the Mustangs did
not disappoint the rowdy Homecoming crowd. The heated match
between the two teams was evidenced by animosity both on and
off the playing field.
As the game progressed, emotions ran high and culminated in
a near altercation between a Queen's player and a Mustang on
the sidelines. The large crowd on hand intensified the situation,
voicing strong support for the Mustangs.
Scott Stewart, head coach of the Mustangs, said his team came
out prepared and ready to go. "We tried to avoid thinking about
the crowds and pressure [of Homecoming]. Overall we are pleased
with our performance and we are glad to have done it here at
Western led the match 16-6 at the half on a drop goal by Rob
Wolfenden and a try from Dean Van Camp, on which Andrew Dold
made good on the conversion. Dold also added two more goals
in the first half.
The second half featured less scoring and was characterized
by the many scuffles which made the ongoing rivalry paramount
in the eyes of the spectators. An early, superb try from Wolfenden,
increased Western's lead to 23-6.
The two late scores by the Gaels were ultimately too little
as the Mustangs hung on to earn an important win, but they were
leery of the Gaels late in the game. "We were worried about
Queen's after they scored - they are an experienced team who
knows how to win games," Stewart said.
"Western had the opportunity early and took it. We had momentum
during the second half, but it didn't come early enough for
us to take the win," Steacy added.
After a solid performance, Dold commented on the rivalry and
tradition between Western and Queen's. "Whenever we go to Kingston
or they come here, especially for Homecoming, we expect an intense,
hard 80 minutes."
The Mustangs performance over the first two weeks of the season
should dispel earlier thoughts the team might have problems
adapting to Stewart. "We are happy with ourselves. We've done
lots of work and we'll build on that.
Stewart, who became the Mustangs head coach over the summer,
is extremely well experienced in international rugby as he has
been involved in the past three World Cups.
"We're really excited to have Scott," Dold said. "His experience
and presence is something we've been missing the past couple
Dold went on to say he feels the team has been playing well,
but has yet to come close to reaching its capabilities. "Everyone
knows we have the potential to win [the Ontario University Athletics
championships] this year."
-with files from David Lee and Alison