The Concordia Stingers men’s rugby team lost to the Sherbrooke Vert et Or by one point on Friday night, after playing a tough game in the pouring rain.
An unlucky kick by Concordia at the start of the game hit the goal post, but Adriano D’Angelo gained the lead and three points for the Stingers with a kick at the 18:05 minute mark.
Sherbrooke was quick to answer back and scored the first try and two-point conversion at the 26:24 minute mark.
Another kick by D’Angelo earned Concordia three more points, but once again Concordia couldn’t keep Sherbooke off the board for long.
A second try by Sherbrooke at the end of the first half gave the Vert et Or a six-point lead over Concordia, making the game 12-6 at the break.
The rain made execution difficult for Concordia, but Stingers coach Clive Gibson said the rain shouldn’t have affected their game as much as it did.
“As far as I know it was raining on both teams, not just us,” he said.
The slippery ball made passing difficult, and proved challenging for a team of speedy, quick-handed backs.
“Our backs are the strength on our team, and when you can’t move the ball quickly and easily it takes away that aspect of the game,” said Gibson. “We couldn’t react to it, we couldn’t respond, and we couldn’t deal with the weather conditions.”
The Stingers came back in the second half with pressure in Sherbrooke’s end. Hooker William Felderbaum scored a corner try and five points for Concordia at the 69:15 minute mark, but a difficult conversion attempt from the wide angle was unsuccessful.
Despite two yellow cards for Sherbrooke – and over 20 minutes of a one-man advantage for Concordia – the Stingers couldn’t make the push for another try.
“The boys just simply didn’t do enough,” said Gibson. “When for 20 minutes you have a one-man advantage because [Sherbrooke] had two guys in the sin bins, and you don’t score, it calls into question the tactics being used.”
It’s been a rocky season for the Stingers so far. They coolly beat Sherbrooke the last time they faced each other with a final score of 17-5, but they couldn’t secure the win against them this time, despite a strong show in the second half.
“Unfortunately that’s the nature of our season,” said Gibson. “We spent the better part of every game we played pressuring in their end, and were not able to finish.”
Outside-centre Jonathan Dextras-Romagnino said he was disappointed over the loss.
“We came out thinking we were going to score four tries and we got a lucky one, so we underestimated them,” he said. “The rain killed us. Our game plan shouldn’t be screwed by the weather.”
A rare guest was also in attendance Friday night to see the game. McGill coach Craig Beemer showed up to see the Stingers in action before his Redmen face Concordia next weekend.
The Stingers lost to the Redmen three weeks ago, but eight man David Walsh is optimistic.
“He was watching us but I don’t think he saw much today,” said Walsh. “We’re saving it for next week. You’ll be surprised.”
Concordia plays host to McGill on Sunday, Oct. 23, at 3 p.m.