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Battling Blues drop home opener to Waterloo

Toronto shows resilience and potential, despite loss
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The Blues fight to even the score. COURTESY OF SEYRAN MAMMADOV/VARSITY BLUES
The Blues fight to even the score. COURTESY OF SEYRAN MAMMADOV/VARSITY BLUES

The Varsity Blues men’s rugby team took on the Waterloo Warriors in their home opener on September 14, dropping a 35–14 decision.

Toronto got off to a slow start, with Waterloo scoring the opening try within the first minutes of the game. A brilliantly crafty play — a low, skipping kick from Waterloo for a sprinting player to latch onto — and subsequent conversion led to Waterloo doubling their lead.

Despite the widening scoreline, Toronto were reluctant to relinquish control of the game to the Warriors, and grew stronger and more threatening as the first half stretched on.

Several Blues shined throughout the match. Captain Faiyaz Lokhandwala showed off his speed on several dazzling and deceptive runs up field. Stephen Stothers-Robertson was a defensive juggernaut, using his strength and size to thwart several Waterloo attempts to gain ground. Tudor Chirila played a pivotal role in gaining ground for the Blues, using his passing ability to widen the field, and his long kicks to force Waterloo back.

In spite of their best efforts, Toronto entered half-time down 21–0. However, they roared to life in the second half, with Liam Sangmuah slicing through Waterloo’s defence to score in the 42nd minute. Toronto used this momentum to force penalties and turnovers from the Warriors, and scored a second try from Riley Martin in the 49th minute. The Blues came agonizingly close to scoring a third try, but it was successfully held up and defended by the Warriors.

Despite Toronto’s spirited and relentless efforts, Waterloo would go on to score two more tries to defeat Toronto by a score of 35–14. However, the score was not representative of Toronto’s quality. The Blues showed impressive skills, a high level of fitness, and an unrelenting determination.

The Blues will continue their season on the road, heading to London, Ontario to take on the Western Mustangs on September 21.