By: Griffin Marsh
As the fall break got underway, the McMaster Men’s Rugby team took on the Laurier Golden Hawks in an afternoon clash on Ten-Acre field. The Marauders showed their depth, scoring from a variety of sources, and made light work of the Golden Hawks, leading to a commanding 37-7 victory.
It was another positive result in a strong run of form, since a frustrating loss to the Queen’s Gaels on Sept 24. In the last three games, the Marauders have outscored their opponents 108-20, showing success on both sides of the ball.
This offensive and defensive productivity shows the growth and refinement the team has gone through over the latter half of the season.
“The players now have a good understanding of what we are trying to do out there, both on attack and defense” said head coach Dan Pletch. “We have been building nicely all season, each game looking better than the last.”
Pletch noted that this recent success was not a change in tactics or any new addition to the system
“We are just getting more and more effective as we go and fine tune and clarify things.”
The four McMaster tries scored in the game came from four different players, along with another commanding performance from rookie William Kelly, who contributed 17 points in the victory.
This is a testament to the team’s attitude.
“It’s definitely the best group we have had in terms of team dynamics in the last few years. We don’t have any selfish guys, there is no egos on the team,” said Pletch.
This depth also comes from the team’s structure, as the flexibility built into each play call allows for guys to shine from all parts of the field.
The conclusion of this season looks bright for the Marauders, and the results keep coming. Since the time of the interview with the head coach, the men moved through Toronto with a 33-0 victory.
All of this puts the Marauders in a great place entering the final game of the season against league leaders Guelph on Oct. 21. McMaster currently sits in second place, which would provide at least a first-round bye once playoffs begin. Pletch ensured the team’s focus as the season comes to an end remains one game at a time.
“We are always just focused on the performance, we have certain measures that we are looking for and that we are trying to improve each game.”
Clearly, Pletch’s assessment of his team is ringing true, and we are in for an interesting final few weeks of the season.
Playoffs are just around the corner, and the Marauder community should definitely be excited at the prospect of another McMaster team in contention to succeed.