The Bishop’s Gaiters men’s rugby team’s dream of a provincial title ended in disappointment Friday evening when they lost a 22-11 road decision to the Montreal Carabins in a Quebec university rugby union semifinal. Wind conditions on the Montreal field, on the north side of Mont Royal proved to be a major factor.
“They won the coin toss and decided to take the wind in the first half and were able to take a 10-6 lead at halftime,” Gaiter head coach Charles Goode said in an interview Saturday. “I thought we were in good shape considering the conditions and we believed that we would kill them in the second half.”
Goode’s belief was well-founded, besides have the wind at their back, the Gaiters was a dominant team in the second halves during the regular season due to their depth and conditioning. That was not the case Friday evening as the Carabins used their superior size to good advantage.
“You have to give Montreal a lot of credit, they use their size advantage and played a perfect game. In the second half we had only two line breaks which is very unusual for our team.”
The veteran coach had praise for several of his players including a pair of graduating players.
“Our captain Nic Charlton and Scott Best played well in their last game for Bishop’s,” Goode said. “And Lee Hudson, the league’s most valuable player also played well. We gave a great effort but sometimes it is just not meant to be.”
Goode added that his team had nothing to be ashamed of.
“I thought we a good season, we had a pretty talented talent and I really that this year we had a great chance to get to the finals,’ he said. “It is tough to win on the road anytime and especially in the playoffs. I am proud of the team, several guys like Scott Best and Shayne Crawford play through injuries for the team.”
The Carabins will now face the undefeated McGill Redmen who crushed ETS 50-0 in the other semi-final game.
The Gaiters, meanwhile, finish the season with a 6-3-1 overall record.