The defending QSSF champion Concordia Stingers’ men’s rugby team picked up where they left off last season with a solid 35-8 victory over the Bishop’s Gaiters Sunday afternoon at Concordia Stadium.
“We worked as a team. We talked about what our limitations are and trying to get the basics right and that was the key,” said new Stingers head coach Graeme McGravie. “It was a great effort.”
The Stingers jumped out to a quick lead when prop Gerry Legault scored in the early minutes of the first half.
Winger Alfred Davis and full-back Ovett Edwards added one try each off line-outs in the Gaiters end. A fourth try was added by outside-center Chris Cesari after the Stingers blocked an attempted clearing kick from inside the Gaiters end zone. The Stingers were up 24-0 when the Gaiters Chris Chapeau made a penalty kick to end the first half.
The Stingers kept up the pressure in the second half and added two penalty kicks and a fifth try to bring their lead up to 35-3. With ten minutes left in the game, the Gaiters made a strong goal line push.
The Stingers defense came on strong holding up a Gaiters attacker, then driving back the scrum and blocking a third attack before Bishop’s prop Sean Rupka was able to get past Stingers Rick Lau.
McGravie liked what he saw from his backs and the solid game they played as a unit. Fly-half Jared Walker worked well with rookie scrum-half Scott Gill. They kept the plays simple, as McGravie had hoped.
The simple plays led to four tries from four different backs.
Even though the Stingers handled the Gaiters with relative ease, McGravie is concerned about the team’s next game Wednesday night against the McGill Redmen.
The Stingers forward pack is one of the smallest in the league and McGravie expects McGill to try and use their size advantage more effectively than the Gaiters did.
“Physical size is a huge concern,” said McGravie. “Our aim is to get in and out of contact as quickly as possible.”
McGravie also felt the team’s ball retention out of the scrum and their defence out wide needed work before facing the Redmen.