It was a win 16 years in the making. For the first time since 1994, Concordia’s women’s rugby team has gone undefeated in the regular season. They won their last match of the year against the McGill Martlets 30-20 on Sunday at McEwen Field.
In the grand scheme of things, this game didn’t really matter. The standings and the semi-final schedule was already determined for Concordia. What was at stake was bragging rights.
“Any time you play McGill it matters,” said head coach Graeme McGravie. “Let’s be honest here, Laval is the new rivalry, for sure, but when you go to Concordia it’s always McGill, when you go to McGill it’s always Concordia.”
In recent years, the Stingers have been living in the shadow of the Laval Rouge et Or. Last year they defeated their archrivals in a double-overtime thriller to go onto Nationals. Since then, they have been focused on proving why they deserve to be champions.
“We are undefeated. Every year it’s always Laval but this year was our year. We’re the team to beat,” said veteran forward Adara Borys, “Just because we’re the team to beat doesn’t mean you’re going to beat us.”
That’s exactly the point the Stingers made against the Martlets. Concordia’s forward pack has dominated all season. They showed their strength this game by bowling McGill over in rucks and mauls and leading directly to the Stingers’ first two trys. Borys scored the first in the corner off a scrum and, after pushing a ruck into the try zone, scrum half Jessie Lapointe touched the ball down.
The Stingers’ first half scoring was rounded out by third-year flyhalf Erika Hamilton who found a hole in the defence along the sidelines and dove into the corner.
Early in the second half Borys notched her second try of the day. “There aren’t many opportunities to score as a flanker and so when I see a hole I take it,” she said. Concordia’s leading scorer Jackie Tittley added 10 points to her 60-point season to give the Stingers the win.
Concordia truly dominated the league this year. They scored a whopping 198 points over the season, 59 more than second-place Laval. On defence they only allowed 23 points against and have a plus/minus of 175.
The semi-final game will be played on home soil on Sunday at 3 p.m. against either McGill or Ottawa.