BARRIE – After a gruelling 80 minutes, the Humber men's rugby team fell to the Georgian Grizzlies in the OCAA semifinal Sunday afternoon, 22-19.
The undefeated Grizzlies jumped out to an early 10-point lead, scoring two quick tries within the first 15 minutes of gameplay. After a scrum deep inside Georgian territory, Juan Manago made a pass to Daniel Sheffield to put Humber on the board. Zack Shurtleff kicked the long convert, cutting Humber's deficit to three.
In the 24th minute, Humber took its first lead of the game when Shemar Shorter powered his way through the Georgian defence and over the try line.
Less than ten minutes later, the Grizzlies responded when Donovan Jacko went streaking down the left side of the pitch untouched. Georgian missed its third straight convert and went into the break leading, 15-12.
In the 65th minute, the Grizzlies extended their lead to ten when Rodrigo Cuello touched down right in front of the posts.
The Hawks showed their refusal to quit and with less than ten minutes remaining in regulation, Daniele Patrizi forced a turnover and found Juan Manago who turned and fired a quick pass to Curtis Sandiford. Sandiford showed off his speed, sprinting 45 metres untouched to score the try. Abbas Popal's convert brought Humber to within three points.
With time running out, Georgian was issued a yellow card, sending a man to the sin bin. The Hawks were unable to capitalize on the man advantage and was shortly issued a yellow card of their own. The Grizzlies held on to the slim lead, defeating the Hawks, 22-19.
- Humber falls to 0-3 against Georgian this season.
- The defeat was the first career postseason loss for head coach Fabian Rayne.
Humber men's rugby will play for its first OCAA medal since 2014 in the bronze medal match against Seneca (5-3, 2nd West) on Nov. 9. Game time is set for 1 p.m.