It wasn’t easy but the Stingers pull it out

Lennoxville – It was a lot closer than they would have liked, but in the end they still managed to get it done. It wasn’t all pretty, it wasn’t all
horrendous either, but it was effective.
For the second time this season, the Concordia men’s rugby team sent the Bishop’s Gaiters running with their tail between their legs after they handed them a 15-11 loss in Lennoxville last Sunday.
It was a vastly different Stinger side that took to the field from the one that lost an agonizing 17-16 to Sherbrooke the previous week. For starters, regular Johnny Webb is out for the season courtesy of a broken jaw sustained during a tackle in the Sherbrooke battle.
“It was impossible for me to go out there and replace Johnny Webb,” said Ovett Edwards who filled in admirably for the injured fullback. “Gerry [Head coach Gerry Clayton] knows what I can do and I know he has confidence in me,” said Edwards. “Maybe a little more after today.”
The rookie fullback was solid on Bishop’s deep kicks and was equally dependable when the Stingers were on offense.
“It’s easy to play my position when you’re playing with a flyhalf and centres that are as competent as ours,” said Edwards.
Edwards wasn’t the only standout on the afternoon. The win also cemented George Vouloumanos as one of, if not the, premier wingers in varsity rugby. Vouloumanos scored the go ahead try early in the first half and went on to pad Concordia’s lead with another try in the second after exploiting one of the few holes left by a stalwart Bishop’s defence.
“To be able to contribute two tries today is especially sweet seeing as it’s
against Bishop’s. It’s no secret that there is a healthy rivalry between our two schools,” said Vouloumanos.
“As soon as you put the ball in George’s hands it was good for five points,” said Edwards, but Vouloumanos was quick to divert the spotlight.
“There’s an amazing atmosphere in our locker room right now, a real emotional bond has developed between the players, it’s that tie that keeps you going late in the game.”
There was a sour note amidst the celebrations on Sunday. Concordia’s starting eight man Dave Cervantes had to be helped off the field after re-aggravating a knee injury. His absence in the pack was felt immediately.
“That was a huge loss,” said head coach Gerry Clayton. “In the first two scrum we went forward, after Cervantes went out, we had real trouble maintaining possession and Bishop’s took full advantage.”
Hooker Jonathan Chiniborch agreed. “After Dave went out I moved from hooker to eight man, it was definitely a lot more responsibility, but I enjoyed it,” said Chiniborch. “I’ve played with Dave on the Quebec U-18 and Canada U-21 teams and we hook up very well on the field.”
Despite the loss of such a key player, Clayton believes his team is still
capable of going all the way. “I think we have a lot of work to do, particularly on line-outs and scrums, but if we do the work, we’ll be alright.”
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