LENNOXVLLE – In a fast-paced, rough and tumble match Sunday afternoon at Bishop’s University, the Stinger men worked hard to pull through with a win – the final score being 16-8. The Stingers suffered multiple injuries from the home team, but their fast and hard-hitting playing style earned them a much-deserved victory.
Winger Shawn Taylor made an incredible breakaway within the first five minutes of the match, running from the 22-metre line straight into the Bishop’s zone, scoring the first try. Taylor made such a clean break that he was able to touch the ball down directly in the centre, allowing Concordia fly-half Brian Gill to complete the conversion.
Shortly after Concordia gained the lead, Bishop’s fought back and displayed its size and power, hitting the Concordia men hard. On an eight-man, Jon Chiniborch took a brutal hit from Bishop’s prop Andre Sullivan, sustaining injuries to his lower lip and right eye. Chiniborch was immediately removed from play and brought to the local hospital for stitches and treatment for a possible concussion.
Head coach Graeme McGravie acknowledged the extensive injuries not only to their eight-man, but to the team as well. “When Chiniborch went out, we lost our foundation,” McGravie explained.
Contact was essential between the Stinger and Gaiter men. Close contact and little running space resulted in a kicking game for the majority of the playing time. Successful rucks were key for the Stingers, earning them a few ball possessions. With the play bounced from the Stingers’ zone to Gaiters’, there was no obvious dominance of plays or the ball. “[Our scrum] was under immense pressure,” McGravie said.
Scoring half of the Stingers’ 16 points, fly-half Brian Gill skilfully kicked three penalty shots and one conversion. Fellow Stinger forward, Jacob Grzywacz made his name known for relentlessly hitting the Gaiter men full on. The entire Concordia team made an extreme effort in all the scrums and came out triumphant on their put-in. Scrum-half Ovett Edwards showed immense support coming out of the scrums and at each ruck and maul.
Towards the end of the game, the multiple injuries and line changes took their toll on the Concordia squad, with fatigue making itself obvious in the half’s remaining minutes.
Despite frantic and rushed plays, the Stingers still managed to make crisp passes and engage in some fierce rucks and mauls. The Gaiter men were a strong and rough team and they battled it out until the very end, sending injured Stinger men to the sidelines up until the last whistle.
“Today was a massive game for us,” said McGravie. This away game acted as a kind of practice game. The Stingers’ aim is to practice until perfect for their next game against McGill in the semi-finals. Even after a quarter of the Concordia men left the field nursing injuries, their spirits were high and should be prepared to take on their next opponent.