Stingers defeat Vert et Or in season opener

A strong closing act by the Concordia men’s rugby team helped overcome what was an erratic performance in the opening 40.
The first half consisted of both Concordia and Sherbrooke taking several penalties and a lack of coherence amongst the players. The Stingers would prevail, though, with a 17-5 victory.
“I think the guys were nervous,” said Stingers head coach Clive Gibson. “We had a completely new game plan and style of play which lead to a tough time settling in. It was a combination of things I think, and they settled into the game plan in the second half.”
It was during the second half that the strategies established throughout the week became evident.The Stingers would score two tries converting on both opportunities, while allowing very little chance for the Vert et Or to threaten their zone.
The first try was scored off a great series of passing after Concordia gained possession of the ball through a scrum. The efficient ball circulation would eventually find fullback Dario Pellizzari who cleverly turned the ball outside to Jonathan Dextras-Romagnino.
Romagnino hit the try line with a valiant effort to cap off the play. However, the ball was scored on the furthest left side corner, leaving a very difficult conversion for scrum-half Christopher Micheletti.
Micheletti, though, would come through. He placed the ball over 30 yards away and made a spectacular conversion giving Concordia a five point lead, from which they never looked back.
“In the second half we proved ourselves,” said Pellizzari. “Both [tries] were set plays worked on by the backs in practice.”
“It was important not because it was a try, but because it was done as a team,” explained captain Jonathan Dextras-Romagnino. “I’m proud of everybody who was on that field. They played their hearts out and, as captain, I’m proud.”
For many players, the game required several adjustments and a quick learning curve. “It was a learning experience,” said fly-half Alex Ritchie.
Ritchie, who had spent time playing the wing and fullback positions in the past, was forced to adjust to a new role, but he was not the only Stinger to express this sentiment. Many players were given different positions during the course of the game and adapted well to the change.
Though at times it may not have been pretty, the Stingers were pleased with the win.
“It’s a huge confidence booster for the team,” said Pellizzari. “We’ve got a big game against Bishop’s next week and it’s always good to start off on a positive note.”

The team takes the field at home on Sept. 16 against Bishop’s. The game is at 9 p.m on the Loyola campus.


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