Just last year, the Thunder men’s rugby team were the OCAA Bronze medal winners, but now they will be moving uphill with back-to-back losses after being dominated yesterday by the Fleming Knights.
The entire game was a defensive struggle for the Thunder, and they just could not stop Flemings’ offensive surges throughout the game, eventually giving up 34 points in the loss.
At halftime, the only discussion to be had was about discipline and defence. Safwan Ben Malik, who plays wing, kept on telling his teammates to slow down and put defence first, but to no avail.
Their aggressiveness was a downfall in this one, and Malik knew coming into this match up, after a 27-0 loss to St. Lawrence last week, that it was going to be a tough game.
“We are a hard-working team, we practice four days a week, so coming out and seeing that outcome can be rough,” he explained. “We got some new players, we’re trying to work out our strategies and get it out to the backs more.”
The Thunder looked
like they were about show up to the game early in the second half when Thomas
Kump, who plays hooker for the team, grabbed the ball close to the tri-line and
paved his away through the Knights defence to score.
“It was a hand-off really,” said Kump. “We went into contact, I grabbed the
ball, rolled off and jumped in.”
But two minutes later, a big hole in the six led to a quick tri by Fleming – successfully
ending any chance of a comeback for Algonquin.
Every team has a building phase, and according to head coach Geoff Tomlinson,
this is it.
“This is a young team, and as coaches, we know that this year is more of a
challenge because we have less experience,” said Tomlinson. “And how do we keep
positive? We have to have measurable stuff so that the players can see that
they are making improvements.”
In order to up the intensity, Tomlinson and coach Bob Shaw are bringing the Bytown
Blues, an Ottawa rugby club, to their practices this week in order to whip them
Their final game of September will be played on Sunday, Sept. 25 at home versus
the Loyalist Lancers.