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Gryphons bring home bronze from rugby nationals

It's the best finish ever at a national championship for the Guelph Gryphons men's rugby team
20221205mensrugbybronze
The Guelph Gryphons men's rugby team is heading home with some hardware, taking bronze at the national championships in Vancouver.

VANCOUVER – The Guelph Gryphons men's rugby team finished off its season on a winning note, capturing bronze at the national championships in Vancouver.

The BC-based Trinity Western Spartans scored a try in the final minute, but missed the convert, and the Gryphons held on for a 32-21 win Sunday.

It was a back-and-forth tilt the whole way, with seven lead changes. Guerschom Mukendi, Aidan Vachon and a penalty convert from Kobe Faust pushed Guelph ahead 15-14 at the half.

There were three lead changes in the first 13 minutes of the second half, but the Gryphons took the lead for good on two trys from Michael McCartney and Owen Williams.

But with just a six-point lead with five minutes left, Trinity Western was within striking distance.

The try in the 60th minute put the Spartans within one, but Spartans kicker Matt Willemse pulled his kick to the left, sealing the deal for the Gryphons.

It's the first podium finish in the men's rugby program history, after finishing fourth in both the 2017 and 2021 tournaments.