Concordia’s men’s rugby team prevailed 29-10 over the Sherbrooke Vert et Or on Friday night to bring their record to 3-0.
Sherbrooke started their game sluggish and slow and Concordia did not hesitate to capitalize on their poor offensive co-ordination to steal the ball away. Grady Galloway blocked a Vert et Or kick which was then scooped up by Jonathan Dextras-Romagnino. He dodged four Sherbrooke players and ran 30 yards to score. Xavier Birot added the conversion to pull ahead 7-0.
Birot added three points on a penalty kick from 18 yards out, mid-way through the first half.
The injury-plagued Stingers suffered another massive blow to their roster. Jeremy Chung Lim suffered a serious head injury after a Sherbrooke player swung him around on a tackle which resulted in a knee to the temple. He was taken away by ambulance and the offending player was immediately expelled from the match.
According to head coach Clive Gibson, Chung Lim broke his left temporal bone in his skull and had to undergo surgery to relieve pressure on his brain. His condition is improving rapidly but of the Stingers do not expect him to return this season.
Eight-man David Biddle explained the Stingers mindset after the incident. “Composure was the key in that game and when something like that happens it’s hard to get guys to focus on the game and not on retaliation,” said the stand-in captain for the injured Ted McGregor.
This strategy clearly did not work as the game seemed constantly on the verge of a brawl. There were three incidents where Sherbrooke and Concordia players exchanged a few words and shoves behind the play and behind the back of the referee.
After a brutal hit on Birot, Sherbrooke’s Martin Gautier was sin-binned and had to sit-out for ten minutes. This left the Vert et Or at a massive disadvantage sine they would be playing two players short. It didn’t take long for Concordia to capitalize. David Biddle scored his first try as a Stinger after a Sherbrooke penalty to widen the lead to 15-0.
When Sherbrooke started to pick up their game in the second half, Concordia was the team who looked like they were two men short. Back talk to the referee earned them two extra penalties on an initial high tackle, costing them a total of 30 yards. This allowed the Vert et Or enough field position to kick for points and put them on the board 15-3.
Concordia did not play to their potential in the second half, despite what the numbers up on the scoreboard said.
Their passes were falling short and almost every line-out was thrown crooked. Jumper Marc Roche did manage to steal a key Sherbrooke line-out which led to Biddle adding another try between the posts. Birot added the extra points.
Biddle would go on to set up the next try. He scooped up the ball off a scrum and took it blindside where he created a two on one with scrum-half Alec Montealegre. Montealegre then spun around the defender to score. Birot made the conversion and Concordia pulled ahead 29-3.
The Stinger’s once again lost their cool and took excessive penalties. This forced them back into their own end and the Vert et Or took advantage of the momentum. Sherbrooke rounded out the scoring with a try on the blindside that fooled the Stinger line and sinker to make it 29-8. Even with the final Vert et Or effort, the Stingers had locked up the game.
The Stingers face undefeated McGill on Sunday at 1 p.m. at McGill’s Molson Stadium.