Despite having the home field advantage and a sea of maroon and-gold sitting in the bleachers, Concordia’s women’s rugby team lost 27-22 to the Laval Rouge et Or on Friday night.
Graeme McGravie, Stingers head coach, said the team is happy with the game but disappointed with the result.
“We played really well but left too many scoring chances on the field, especially in the first half,” he said, “and we paid for it.”
Laval has been a strong competitor so far this season. They placed first in the RSEQ conference with seven wins and zero losses. Concordia finished in second place with six wins and one loss.
The game started off in Laval’s favour; their first try – with conversion – happened within the first 10 minutes of the first half. Concordia fought hard to get back on top, bringing the score to 7-3 with a penalty kick. Bianca Farella showed promise with a breakthrough six minutes to the end of the half, but got taken down five yards from the try line. Laval finished off the half with a penalty kick, bringing the score to 10-3.
It was obvious, in the first half, that Laval was strong in the scrum and aggressive in the rucks. They had an excellent back line made up of fast players who regularly broke through Concordia’s defense.
However, Concordia picked it up in the second half, scoring three tries and two conversion kicks. The more impressive of the tries was the second, which happened 30 minutes into the half by hooker Jessica Beaudry. Concordia was lined up perfectly on offense at the five-yard line and pushed hard to get through Laval’s defensive line.
The crowd was visibly impressed with the second half; you could hear the supportive cheers all the way from Deli Pat and fans were on the edge of their seats cheering on the female Stingers. They played with more force and determination, using Laval’s weaknesses to their advantage.
Unfortunately, Laval scored two more times with conversions and started off the second half with a perfect penalty kick, bringing the final score to a close 27-22.
Regardless of the loss, Concordia has one vital motivating factor: optimism.
“If we play that well again, and stop some of the brain farts we had, we can win it all,” said McGravie. “But we have to execute our chances.”
The Stingers will play the McGill Martlets in the semi-finals of the RSEQ division this Friday. The winner will face the victor of the semi-final between Laval and Ottawa.
Concordia plays the Martlets on Friday, Oct. 19 at Concordia Stadium. The elimination game starts at 7 p.m.