The Excalibur made the switch from the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) men’s rugby league to the Ontario College Athletic Association (OCAA) two years ago and the Excalibur have been making a consistent appearance in the post season since. In both of the previous two seasons the rugby side has managed to fight its way to consecutive OCAA bronze medal appearances, only to miss out on bringing home the hardware. Head coach David McCully is hoping this year will be the ticket to placing in the top three as they open their postseason schedule tonight (Oct. 28) at Justin Chiu Stadium against the Conestoga College Condors.
“We want to go one step better,” says McCully.
The Excalibur had a rough start to the season, starting the year with losses against two of the league’s best in Humber College and Seneca College, but has managed to run the table since by taking down Fleming, Mohawk and Conestoga. The win against Mohawk was exceptionally sweet as it was a first in team history since switching leagues. In most cases, an 0-2 start would seem detrimental to some coaches, but McCully feels that the opening games were learning experiences for the young Trent squad.
“We put a lot of those lessons into play the last three games,” the Excalibur bench boss says.
Trent downed the Condors in regular season play last week, handing them their fifth loss of the season by a score of 40-19. Yet, McCully isn’t taking anything for granted as Conestoga was without two of its better players due to suspension.
“We will definitely be seeing an improved team this week,” McCully states.
With the absences, Conestoga was forced to change its plan of attack, which could have attributed to the lopsided exchange in favour of Trent. McCully is expecting them to return to their regular game plan and for the two returning condors to make an impact during the match. In the meantime, the 3-2 Trent team is feeling good and is reasonably healthy going into tonight’s game against the 0-5 Condors and happy to be in the situation to fight for another medal-round berth.
“We’re a young team,” says McCully,
“I knew we had a lot of work ahead of us to get where we wanted to be.”
That work has obviously paid off. The playoff match is set to begin at 7 p.m.