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HomeSportsDalhousie’s defence devastated in loss to McGill

Dalhousie’s defence devastated in loss to McGill

By Alex Calvert, Staff Contributor

When the Dalhousie Tigers played McGill in the Eastern Canadian Championship in 2008, the Tigers were down a try before they scored in the very last minutes to win 14-12. In 2009, the Tigers weren’t so lucky and they were the ones on the short end of a loss to McGill that was decided in the final minutes on Nov. 14.
The teams played in the cold and wind in the Eastern Canadian Championship, and there were many dropped balls, which made for exciting plays and open field tackles. The Tigers had many interceptions that led to long runs downfield. These tired the McGill defence.
John Hewitt stepped up and surprised the Redmen by seeing the vulnerable position they were in and ran 50 yards. That interception eventually led to a try, and helped the Tigers position themselves for the win.
By halftime, the score was a hard fought 12-12.
“We knew it was going to a tight game,” said Head Coach Matthew Gibbon. “We knew it was going to be close and everyone was in pretty good spirits at halftime. Our defence was getting to where it needed to be.”
McGill tried to punch holes in the defence by passing the ball out to the backs and crashing close to the scrum, but Dal held strong and surrendered few opportunities to the talented Redmen backs.
Dalhousie scored in the second half to make it 17-12 on a try from team point-leader and hooker Ewan Wilson. However Dal’s lead would not last. Strong as the Tigers were on the field, it was to no avail last Saturday. McGill completed an impossible march down the field on one of the few defensive breakdowns by the Tigers.
Along with an unbelievable conversion from the McGill kicker, the Redmen made the score 19-17. That was the end of the season for the Tigers. But the season is not without perks.
“This was the very first game of the season that we played as a team,” said captain Paul Forrest. The match marked Dalhousie Rugby’s first and only loss in the last two years, and, while it is disappointing for everyone, fans and players alike can look forward to lots of great rugby from Dalhousie and McGill for years to come.
The Dalhousie Men’s B-side defeated McGill’s B-side to claim the Division II Eastern Canada Title. Up by a score 16-0 at halftime, the Redmen fought back and eroded Dal’s lead in the second half, resulting a 23-21 final in favour of the Tigers.

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