Gryphon rugby men get eighth straight trip to league final
GUELPH – The Guelph Gryphons left little doubt early in the OUA men’s rugby league’s West Division final with the Brock Badgers on a wet Saturday at Varsity Field as to who was going to win.
The hosts struck for three tries in the first 20 minutes and went on to prevail 52-28.
Guelph Gryphons 52 Brock 28
The early tries sparked the Gryphs to a 26-7 halftime lead and they’d match their first-half output in the second half. Brock scored three of its tries in the final 24 minutes of the match.
The Gryphs spread the scoring around as Max Goodwin had two tires and Guerschom Mukendi, Colin Smibert, Evan Raymond, Alex Chaffey, Quenton McLean Lavado and Cam Hurst had one apiece. Colin Lynch booted four converts and Aria Keshoofy had two.
Zach Zorbas, Nathan Percy, Liam Buyenga and Steven Medvesky each scored a try for Brock while Steve Commerford kicked three converts and Carter Bondy added one.
The Gryphs advance to the league final at Queen’s Saturday.
Both the Gryphs and Gaels marched unbeaten through their shortened regular seasons as both posted 4-0 records.
Queen’s gained its berth in the final by blanking the RMC Paladins 34-0 Saturday in an all-Kingston East final.
That the Gryphs and Gaels are going to battle for the OUA crown is nothing new. It’s old hat as this will be the seventh consecutive season for that championship-game match-up.
The Gryphs won the title in 2016 in an exciting final at Varsity Field that was decided in the second round of kicks. Queen’s won the other five meetings in that stretch.
The Gaels have won the league title 24 times since its beginnings in 1923 including seven times in the last eight years.
The Gryphs have won it three times – 1974, 1998 and 2016.
For Queen’s, Saturday’s final will be their 10th consecutive appearance in the championship match and they won seven of those games.
The Gryphs and Gaels met in this year’s preseason with Queen’s winning 33-12 at Varsity Field Sept. 18.
Game time for the final at Nixon Field in Kingston Saturday is 4:30 p.m.
Both the Gryphs and Gaels advance to the fourth edition of the Canadian University Men’s Rugby Championship tournament. It’s to go in Kingston Nov. 24-28.
The Gryphs have participated in the previous three national tournaments, finishing seventh in 2019 at Montreal, fifth in 2018 at Victoria and fourth in the inaugural one in 2017 in town at Alumni Stadium.
The Gaels passed on the tournament in Guelph and were silver medalists in Victoria and bronze medalists in Montreal.
- Guelph Sports Journal