2013 Trent Excalibur Team ShotTrent Men’s Rugby Team finished the regular season off strong.

They won two of three games to make it into the play-offs, and then, in the first round, had an impressive quarter-final comeback win against Georgia, which gave them the opportunity at redemption against Algonquin, a team undefeated throughout the season, including a 32-7 victory over Trent.

The semi-final matchup was a much better performance by the men in green and white, but they still fell 30-15 to Algonquin, a team that went on to lose in the gold medal game to Humber.

The loss in the semi-finals gave Trent a chance to play in the bronze medal game. “It’s amazing to see how we’ve come together as a group,” said Gabriel Epprecht, a player on the team and environmental sciences major at Trent.

However, Trent also lost in the bronze medal game 25-12 against Conestoga College. “We’re obviously disappointed not to come away from the last two weekends with a medal, but we were beaten by two good teams,” said head coach David McCully.

Despite the tough losses that inhibited the team from getting a medal, they have a lot of positives to derive from the play-off such as the young team they fielded. “Some of these first years have played almost 80 minutes a game,” said McCully.

Of the 30 players on the Men’s Rugby Team, 20 of them were first years, and many of the remaining 10 were in second year.

Coming so close to earning a medal without winning was frustrating, but just being able to play during the game was nice, too.

“It’s essentially bonus rugby for us,” commented Epprecht, who is in his second year.

Looking ahead to next season, McCully and his staff are optimistic that the team will improve.

“As coaches, we hope that this taste of semi-final and final rugby will drive the training of the players in the next stage of our season. If we want to do better next year, the work starts now, and as a group, we need to embrace that challenge. The team made considerable progress over the course of the season, and that progress needs to continue over the next nine and half months to ensure we arrive at training camp a stronger team,” said McCully.