Concordia’s women’s rugby team starts the season off with a loss at home
The Concordia Stingers women’s rugby team opened up their 2016 season on a losing note after a 45-26 loss at the hands of the Université de Laval Rouge et Or on Sept. 5.
“They’re a good team but we still expect to win,” said Stingers head coach Graeme McGravie.
The first ten minutes of the game were slow as both teams shared possession of the ball around midfield. However, the game did see the the Stingers get pushed around by a ferocious and tenacious Laval squad. The pace picked up when Laval’s star player Fabiola Forteza scored a try off of a scrum at Concordia’s 35-yard line, just eleven minutes into the game.
It was only after Laval scored two more tries that last season’s MVP Frédérique Rajotte took matters into her own hands. Surging through the defense, she scored the Stingers’ first and only try of the half. The Rouge et Or went into halftime with a comfortable 19-7 lead. It almost looked like the Stingers were going to narrow that lead, but Concordia lost possession of the ball just seconds before the referee blew the halftime whistle.
Laval physically dominated the Stingers in this game, especially during scrums.
‘’[Laval] did really well. I am massively disappointed in our scrums,’’ McGravie said. McGravie added that he had expected stronger scrums since that is something the team is known for.
“[Scrums are] something we discussed with the coaching staff throughout the game. We’re really going to work on that this week,” McGravie said.
Just five minutes into the second half, Laval increased their lead by scoring another try. Despite being behind, the Stingers were able to finish strong. Later during the final frame, the Stingers cut Laval’s lead to just 12 points at 38-26. With five minutes to go, Laval increased their lead to 45-26 which would end up being the final score. Concordia’s effort late in the game did not go unnoticed by their coach, however.
‘’We stuck it out. We went back at them, we played hard and I’m very happy with that,” McGravie said. “I’m happy with the effort but not the execution.”
One notable performance in the game was from prop Émilie Bélanger who led the team in scoring with two tries.
The Stingers will look to get their first win of the season at home on Sept. 8 against the Université de Sherbrooke.