Another chance to prove themselves provincial champs, another disappointing second-placed finish. For the fourth straight season, the Concordia Stingers’ women’s rugby team lost to the McGill Martlets in the QSSF Final last Saturday, this time by a score of 49-10.
“They were just a more experienced team,” said Stingers Coach Sheila Turner. “I’m proud of our players, they didn’t give up, they have a lot of heart.”
The Stingers certainly didn’t give up, coming out hard at the opening of the game, and rarely letting up the pressure.
But they had trouble bringing down McGill’s runners, and breaking through the suffocating wall of defense put up by the Concordia squad.
Even going into the second half with a 20-point deficit, the Stingers didn’t let up.
They had the Martlets on their heels as they kept pushing into their opponents’ territory, though ultimately not being able to score.
McGill saw the most success running on the outside, with two spectacular breakaway runs by McGill wingers.
For keystone leader and captain Sommer Christie, yet another championship loss to McGill was not how she wanted to close her four years with the Stingers.
“It was tough, I really wanted to win this year,” Christie said. “I’m really proud with the way we played, I think we surprised them. It was close, could’ve gone either way.”
Christie seemed to be everywhere in the game, never letting her team admit defeat or give up until the final three tweets. After the game she had to choke back tears when asked what she’ll remember the most of her four years leading the Stingers. “It’s just our heart. We play as one team, never give up, they always put it on the line,” she explained.
As for beyond this season, Christie is looking forward to 2006 and hopefully representing Canada in women’s rugby world cup.
She’s also hoping to return as an assistant coach next season with the Stingers. “We have the talent to put those guys [McGill] in their place,” she said.
Turner expects the Stingers will probably also lose other core veterans like Julie Bertrand, Stephanie Moram and Lynnell Ible.
The squad will be cheering for McGill on Thursday, Oct. 31 at University of Toronto for the CIS Women’s Rugby Championship tournament.