Trent Excalibur took on the Algonquin College Thunder at the Justin Chiu Stadium in the Ontario Colleges Athletic Association (OCAA) men’s varsity rugby semi-finals.

The Trent Excalibur were heading into the game with six wins and zero loses, an undefeated season, while Algonquin College Thunder were heading in with four wins and two loses under their belt. It was a hard fought game, but Trent rose to the occasion and came out on top, winning the 22-12.

The first half of the game started off with Algonquin getting the kick off. As soon as the ball was in the air, Trent took the advantage and gained a lot of distance on the field. For the first 10 minutes of the game, Trent did not allow Algonquin to even pass the half-way line, and when they finally were able to, it took Trent less than a minute to get the ball back to where they wanted it to be.

With their amazing strength and speed, 15 minutes into the game, Trent was able to score their first try, scored by #5 Dave Wickham, and unlike the game against Fleming, Trent was able to get the conversion thanks to #10 Graham Abbott.

Unfortunately, after Trent lost the ball to Algonquin after their try, they were unable to get the ball back until Algonquin score their own try and conversion only a few minutes later.

Many of the fans sitting in the stands were yelling: “Clean your sweaty palms!” as both team seemed to have let the ball slip between their fingers, with the ball going back and forth between ends of the field for the next 15 minutes of the game.

Both teams showed great sportsmen ship, as they were helping each other up on the field and patting each other on the back once the whistle was blown. The teams were playing with everything they had (and didn’t have, as a player from the Algonquin College Thunder lost a shoe as they were battling for the ball).

Everyone thought the score was going to be tied going into the second half of the game, but in the last 30 seconds, Trent Excalibur scored another try, but were unable to make the conversion. The first half of the game ended with Trent winning 12-7.

Trent started off the second half of the game with the kick off. Once Algonquin had the ball, they went with it, and it took Trent about 10 minutes to get the ball back into their own hands. Once the ball was back in their court, Trent took off, and halfway through the second half, #12 Kevin Blunck scored another try, but the conversion was not made.

Algonquin did not want to give up without a fight, as they struggled to steal the ball from Trent. Once Algonquin took over possession of the ball, it wasn’t long before they scored a try of their own. But it seemed as though luck wasn’t on anyone’s side, as once again the conversion was not completed. Trent kicked it up a notch so Algonquin could not score another goal, and tie up the game.

The score was too close for comfort, and Trent did not like the odds, so they shot back, ran to the opposing goal with all their might and scored one more try, which locked in their win. However, the conversion was once again not made.

Excalibur Captain Steve LeBrun after winning the game: “Thunder were tough and frustrated us at times. They were very hard to defeat but the set piece was the difference, as we were stronger and able to build from this.”

With Trent being the winners of the game, they move on to the OCAA gold medal match next weekend at the Justin Chiu Stadium on Sunday, November 18 at 1pm against either Seneca or Humber, the winner of the other semi-final game.

The Excalibur are in top-shape for the final challenge, finishing the regular season with an impressive undefeated 7-0 record and taking top spot in the OCAA East Region.

Head Coach Dave McCully expressed pride with his team: “Happy to finally make a final. This will be the first final in four years of trying. It will be a special occasion for everyone, as we are not only in the final but will host the final.”