The third-ranked Canadian Interuniversity Sports team, the Concordia Stingers, dominated the Université de Montréal Carabins on Friday night, winning their sixth consecutive league game 45-3.
The Stingers came out hard, scoring their first try within the first five minutes and their second five minutes after that. It was clear that they were hungry to win. Sixteen minutes in, the Carabins put their three points of the night on the board by launching a penalty kick straight through the posts.
Where Concordia was focused, determined and speedy, the Carabins were sloppy but made up for it with force. High tackling and stiff arms to the face were a common occurrence in the first half.
At 22 minutes, Concordia scored their final try of the first half and, with a successful conversion, brought the score to 19-3.
After the first half, the maroon and gold women dominated scrums, wheeling the other team when it wasn’t their throw-in and getting the ball from the eight-man within seconds. The Carabins and the Stingers were easily matched when it came to line-outs. Concordia stuck with simple but efficient calls and subsequently won almost all of their line-outs. Seemingly, the only area of improvement needed in the first half by the Concordia women was their rucks; not going in low enough made it hard for them to retain the ball, but by the second half they were back to normal.
“We were strong in contact which lead to us winning, but we need to work on being more consistent and sticking to the game plan,” said head coach Graeme McGravie. “We were able to beat them with a lot of individual skill [rather than as a team].”
The backs utilized their speed by running fake switches throughout the game, something that many teams cannot complete. Their offensive plays were suited to each woman on the field and their defensive line showed off their undeniable strength.
Many new faces have been added to the roster this season; McGravie said he believes that they have not yet played a full game in the team-focused mindset, but that he is happy with their results so far this season.
“The girls have bonded well and continue to push each other hard for a starting spot, but it’s always a work in progress for sure.”
A minute and a half into the second, Concordia had scored their first try of the half, with a successful conversion, bringing it to 26-3 for the Stingers. Not even five minutes afterwards, they had scored and converted once more. At the 15-minute mark, the Stingers scored an impressive conversion from the complete right-hand side of the field after their third try that half, bringing the score to 38-3. After one last try and another conversion, the score was brought up to 45-3.
When asked what to expect in their next game, McGravie said, “A win! We need to keep pushing the envelope if we want the big prize at the end of this, so being more consistent and ruthless with scoring chances is what we will be looking for.”
The Stingers will be playing Bishop’s University at Loyola on Thursday, Oct. 10 at 7 p.m.