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Stingers remain winless after loss to McGill

by Archives September 30, 2008

A last play try let the Concordia Stingers men’s rugby team evade a shutout at the hands of the McGill Redmen 31-5 on Sunday.
The Stingers now drop to 0-3, remaining winless in league play. The Redmen sit atop the standings, as they remain undefeated this season.
“We just want to beat them because they think they’re the best,” said Stinger captain Eric Van Thiel. “We want to bring them down a couple of notches.” The Concordia squad needed to prove themselves explained flanker Julien Bruneau. “You want to show them that you’re able to break through and score.”
The first half showed promise for the gritty Stingers as the forwards battled for every ball. McGill chose their battles well and instead of sending their forwards crashing into Concordia’s waiting arms, they sent them to trample the smaller back line. It wasn’t long before the Redmen found themselves in the end zone. It was 7-0 McGill at the half.
The second half led to Concordia’s demise. McGill came out harder than ever looking to widen their lead.
“They came back strong to start the second half because they changed their game plan,” noted head coach Clive Gibson as McGill was all offence.
The McGill plan worked. As the Stingers got tired due to a lack of conditioning, the Redmen took advantage of every opportunity. In the span of one minute the score jumped up to 24-0.
Heads hung low after McGill’s back-to-back trys, but the Stingers didn’t want to quit. Bruneau said that in the huddle before the last kick off, the attitude was “let’s come out strong and let’s go for the last 10 minutes.”
This is when Concordia showed their grit. Inside centre Johnathan Francois and fullback Jonathan Dextras-Romangnino tackled as if there was no tomorrow. Flanker Bruneau fought tooth and nail to regain possession every chance he got. Dave Lawrence tried valiantly to score using his speed, but to no avail.
With less than two minutes left, the Stingers broke through. A play set up by Patrick Demers resulted in a two on one and Alec Montealegre found the corner to put Concordia on the board. The try turned out to be the last play of the game.
The Stingers are already looking ahead to their next match against McGill on Oct. 19 and to the post-season. Bruneau said, “from what I’ve seen today in the first half, we can get [a win against] these guys.” But also admitted, “they’re the team in Quebec to beat, if we want to go to Nationals we have to beat McGill.”
First the Stingers will have to travel to play Bishop’s University on Friday at 8:00 p.m.

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