On Friday night, the Concordia men’s rugby team faced their biggest rivals, the McGill Redmen, in the RSEQ championships, losing 16-6.
“It was a well fought game between two very skilled teams who both deserved to be in the final,” said Anthony Fraschetti, the Stingers’ tighthead prop. “But the game came down to which team was more disciplined.”
The game started off in McGill’s favour, with a try and a conversion on the board within the first three minutes. Two minutes later, the Redmen scored their first penalty kick, making the score 10-0.
Concordia and McGill were evenly matched when it came to strength—not surprising considering this is the fourth consecutive year that they have met in the finals. As always, Concordia’s forward pack was strong in the scrums and rucks but their real skill came through in their lineouts.
After a driving maul off of a lineout, the Stingers were given the opportunity to score three points off of a penalty kick. Joey Fulginiti, the Stingers’ star kicker, sent it sailing through to the posts and brought the score to 10-3.
The Stingers then decided their best option was to slow-ball their way closer to the McGill try zone, a good decision considering the speed that the Redmen were harnessing in their backline. Concordia gained a significant amount of ground but they were not able to secure a try before McGill got their hands on the ball.
Concordia scored their second and final penalty goal with only minutes left in the first half. McGill then scored their second try of the game only to have the points redacted with no chance of kicking a conversion due to a delayed yellow card being issued to one of their players.
During half-time, a red card was issued to another McGill player. This seemed to fuel the fire under the Redmen and gave them the fight they needed to win the game.
Stingers’ winger Caleb Jordan, who had gone—quite literally—head-to-head with McGill flanker Rhys McRae, left the field on a stretcher and was sent to the hospital via ambulance. Alfredo Consentino, hooker for the Stingers, also suffered a minor injury a couple of minutes later but was able to continue playing.
Fulginiti was sent off with only minutes left in the game because of a late and possibly dangerous tackle to McGill fullback Cameron Perrin. This left Yannick Fortin to lead the kickoff.
McGill scored two more penalty kicks before the end of the game, bringing the final score to 16-6 for the Redmen.
The amount of penalties, yellow and red cards and late calls in this game was a detriment to both teams. It came down to discipline,teamwork and which team utilized their strengths to a higher degree.