The men’s rugby team had a disappointing final game of the regular season, losing a whopping 52-5 to St. Lawrence College on Sunday.
Despite the loss, the Thunder still advance to one of the cross-over semi-final games after finishing third in the east division. They will look to rebound from the blowout when they travel to Kitchener to face Conestoga, which finished second in the west.
“It did not go our way, it went St. Lawrence’s way,” said Geoff Tomlinson, the Thunder’s head coach. “They came to play. We had a good second half compared to our first half. They scored 17 points on us in the second half.”
In contrast, the Vikings were able to score 35 points in the first half.
“Our issue was ball retention,” he added. “We lost too many balls in contact. That’s just turnovers. Our lineouts were okay, our scrums in the second half were a lot better, the tackling improved but we still couldn’t retain the ball.”
At one point in the first half, the Thunder put together numerous phases deep in the Vikings’ end but turned the ball over. The St. Lawrence player was able to run the length of the field for the try.
“It mentally affects the players,” said Tomlinson. “They lose their confidence and you start questioning your teammates’ effort and ability. It’s a young team and they’re learning. It’s growing pains. As frustrating as it is for the coaching staff, it’s even more frustrating for the players.”
The lone Algonquin try was scored by Griffin Atkinson.
The previous week, the Thunder defeated the Loyalist Lancers by a score of 27-8. Ethan Russet scored two tries, with Brent Buckley and Alex Smith adding tries of their own. Keith Girard kicked two converts and a penalty.
Algonquin finished the season with a record of 2-4 and are hoping to build momentum in their training sessions before their playoff game.
“We have to buckle down and ask ‘how far do we want to go,’” said flanker Mike Francis. “We control our own fate.”
The Thunder will travel to Kitchener this weekend for their knockout game against the Conestoga Condors.