Concordia knocked the McGill Martlets out of the semi-finals last week as Laval defeated Ottawa, giving the Stingers a second chance against one of their biggest competitors.
“It feels amazing to win and beat a good team like Laval,” said head coach Graeme McGravie. “I thought our coaching staff did a tremendous job of getting this team ready every week and [Saturday] was the pinnacle of that.”
The game started off strong in favour of Concordia; two of their first attempts at tries were held up in the try zone by Laval. Halfway through the first, Laval scored the first try but did not score their conversion kick.
The Stingers came back and scored a penalty kick, a try and a conversion, bringing the score to 8-5 with less than 10 minutes to go. Farella then scored once more before the end of the first half and two consecutive times in the beginning of the second, bringing the score to an impressive 27-12 for the maroon and gold.
In the nail-biting second half, the scores got closer and closer to each other, eventually reaching 34-30 for the Rouge et Or. With less than five minutes left, Concordia scored the final try bringing the final score to 35-34.
Concordia showed off their strength and determination the whole length of Saturday’s match. No matter how close the score got, they kept their head in the game.
“All in all, we knew what was at stake and we weren’t ready to give that up without a fight,” said Farella.
The first half was seemingly in the hands of the forwards, who capitalized on their strength in the rucks and scrums. Compared to their last game against Laval, the Stingers stepped up and hit them a lot harder. The second half was dominated by the backs who executed skillful offensive plays and took advantage of the gaps in Laval’s usually solid defence. Line-outs were strong for both teams but Concordia shone when they attempted to throw the ball to the jumper, back to the thrower and then out to the wing. Even though it is late in the season, they aren’t afraid to diversify their plays.
As for next season, coach McGravie said he’ll start worrying about that next week. He looks forward to next season but made it clear that this was a year to remember in women’s rugby.
“I thought our real strong point this year was that we played as a team, no one individual had to carry the load for the team this year,” he said. “When we needed someone to step up, multiple players did.”
The Stingers will now head to St. Francis Xavier University as the RSEQ champions to take part in the national CIS championships. Five other teams will join Concordia in the tournament that runs from Nov. 1- 4.