By Keaton Robbins
The Humber Hawks varsity rugby teams had a weekend to remember against the Mohawk Mountaineers. The women shut out the Hamilton based opposition 115 – 0, and the men’s game wasn’t much closer as the Hawks won 104- 10.
Trent Excalibur men’s rugby coach Dave McCully has been immersed in OCAA rugby for years, and told Humber News the blowouts have been a combination of Humber’s strength as a team and the fact that OCAA merged two tiers this year.
Just this year the OCAA men’s rugby merged the previous tier 1 and tier 2 divisions into one tier, which would explain Humber 104-0 thrashing of a newly formed Sheridan College side earlier this month.
“The first week against Sheridan wasn’t a surprise. You never think a team is going to score 100 points but you had the top first division team against a former division 2 team,” McCully said.
McCully said what surprised him about this past weekend’s results, was the fact that Humber thrashed Mohawk, who have been a top four team in the last couple of years.
“I don’t think that one [Mohawk game], you can say is a question of tiers,” McCully said. “I would agree that combining the two divisions is going to be tougher on the lower tier teams, but Humber and Mohawk were two top tier teams.”
Seneca women’s rugby coach Ken Forsyth told Humber News, the women’s OCAA division has become too lopsided.
Forsyth said the University of Guelph-Humber has helped the Hawks recruit more talented players, but also allows Humber to develop its players for four years instead of the normal two years.
“If I’m only allowed to work with an athlete for two seasons, and the seasons are only two and a half months long then you’re only getting about 40 training sessions with them,” Forsyth said.
He said that it comes down to the programs Humber offers.
“Humber’s link with Guelph and the strength of their Phys-Ed programs along with their kinesiology programs,” Forsyth said. “So that really helps when it comes to attracting athletes.”
Forsyth said one solution might be to move Humber up from the OCAA to the Canadian Interuniversity Sport division to compete against university sides.
“If you’re competing with university teams in exhibitions you might as well stay at that level,” Forsyth said. “Because if you’re beating a team by 100, there’s nothing to be gained and all it’s doing is demoralizing the Mohawk program.”