Women win big while men salvage a draw

The Concordia Stingers women’s rugby team didn’t start their pursuit of the national championship off on the right foot last week after being defeated at home by Laval.
This week was a different story.
The women absolutely annihilated an overmatched Bishop’s University, winning the game 94-0. The margin of victory was the largest for the Concordia women in the regular season and playoffs since a 1997 thrashing of UQTR by an identical score.
“Last week’s loss was a blip,” said Latoya Blackwood, the Stingers’ outside centre. “We’re hungry and we want to prove to the conference and the nation that we came in second last year for a reason, and we’re coming for first place.”
Opening up numerous gaps in the Bishop’s defence with great passing, phenomenal running and outstanding support for the ball carrier was all part of the game plan heading into Friday evening.
“We talked about it all week,” said Stingers’ coach Graeme McGravie. “We did that tonight. We did a fantastic job supporting the main ball carrier, so we’re really happy with that.”
An offence that finished with eight different women scoring tries showed just how much skill and talent Concordia can tap from its current roster. Many of the tries were off of wonderfully executed set plays from the backs and great line crashing from the forward pack.
Though the offence deserves notice for the 94 points, it was also defensive play that contributed to the lopsided victory. For every instance the ball was in Bishop’s hands there was enormous pressure put on by Concordia leading to a lot of errors and caused multiple turnovers by the Gaiters.
“The defence was good, they were knocking on the door near the end a little bit but we sent them back,” said McGravie
The men’s game, also against Bishop’s, was a much more even affair ending in a 14-14 tie. The game featured late dramatics in a come-from-behind effort from Concordia.
When it looked like the game was going to end in a losing effort, the Stingers side forced a late rally. It began with winger Adriano D’Angelo taking the ball up the wing and kicking a ball that took a fortunate bounce off a Bishop’s defender. This allowed Concordia forwards to win the ball back and continue their offensive possession.
Concordia would play the ball to winger Frederic Kacou who, for the second game in a row, used his blazing speed to leave all Bishop’s players behind and score the tying try.
“Coming back like that feels great,” said Kacou. “I just got the ball and ran (on the tying score).”
“(Kacou) was awesome,” said D’Angelo. “If the ball got out to him I knew he was going to score. I don’t know what to call him. Lightning?”
After the tying try it was up to the Stingers’ defence to preserve the draw. The end of the game came down to a goal-line stand by the forwards that truly demonstrated the character of Concordia’s defence.
Bishop’s attempted numerous times to crash the ball through the defence, believing their size advantage would eventually break the Concordia line. This message was clearly not received by the Stingers, who took on every wave with no signs of fatigue. Eventually Bishop’s would take a penalty, turning possession back over to the Stingers. Concordia would just kick the ball out of bounds to end the game.
Despite the late game heroics, it was clear that a tie was not the desired outcome of the home side. “I feel terrible about the tie,” said Stingers coach Clive Gibson. “The biggest problem all day was penalties. The count was ridiculous.”
“Not to take away from Bishop’s, but I do believe we are the better team,” said Stingers 8-man Jimmy Bang.

The men play at McGill Sept. 25 at 1 p.m. while the women travel to Ottawa for a 3:30 p.m match the same day.


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