The Buzz: Stingers weekend recap

Football, rugby, and soccer wrap up their respective postseasons, and regular season hockey is underway

Stingers men’s rugby wins fourth consecutive RSEQ title

Stingers defeated McGill 33-0 at Percival Molson Memorial Stadium on a sunny Saturday afternoon. Jean-Christophe Vinette led the Stingers with two tries, and Luca Milne earned MVP honours in a game in which the Redbirds never took off. 

McGill and Concordia finished the regular season at 5-1 apiece, but the Redbirds went into the postseason as the first seed. The Stingers’ dominant showing was another feather on the cap for Concordia’s rugby dynasty. 

RSEQ football semifinals versus Laval ends Stingers season early 

Also on Saturday, the Stingers football team travelled to TELUS Stadium to face the Laval Rouge et Or, where Concordia ultimately lost 30-10. 

The Stingers offence led the RSEQ in many major aspects, but was essentially shut down by Laval. Stingers quarterback Olivier Roy threw for 283 passing yards but couldn’t score a touchdown and was sacked four times. 

The Stingers ended the 2021 RSEQ regular season at 4-4, an improvement from their performance in 2019, where they finished the season at 2-6.  

Concordia men’s soccer lose in RSEQ semifinal to Montreal

Concordia faced the first-placed Carabins in the playoffs on Friday at CEPSUM, where the Stingers lost 2-0. 

Stingers midfielder Anthony Phelps was the team’s MVP of the match, while Carabins’ Quentin Paumier earned the honour for Montreal by securing the game-winning goal in the opening minutes of the match. 

Concordia finished the regular season with a 5-4-3 record, and Stingers fourth-year midfielder Mohammad Reza Nafar led the RSEQ regular season in goals (7) and points (11).

Stingers men’s and women’s hockey seasons start strong

As sports gradually make the transition to indoor activity with winter around the corner, both the men’s and women’s hockey teams took to the ice over the weekend. 

Looking to bounce back from the loss in their home opener versus McGill on Nov. 3, the men’s team did just that in their 3-0 victory over the UQTR Patriotes on Friday. Stingers rookie Maxim Trépanier scored the game-winning goal in the first minute of the second period on the power-play.

The women’s team went into the weekend with a disappointing 0-2 record, but returned to form on Saturday with a 4-0 victory over Bishop’s at home in the Ed Meagher Arena, followed by a convincing 2-0 win on the road against Montreal on Sunday afternoon.


Graphic by James Fay


Stingers 37 Gee-Gees 21: Concordia advance to RSEQ final

Stingers rally from behind to eliminate Ottawa in the RSEQ men’s rugby semi-final

The Gee-Gees got off to a hot start with a 14-3 lead to start the game by dominating possession. In the second part of the first half, Concordia was able to switch up momentum and return to their locker room at halftime up 22-14.

Stingers head coach John Lavery was not surprised by the way his team handled adversity after being in the hole early. 

“There are some experienced guys in this group that have been in a lot of big games before and they know how to handle pressure,” Lavery said. “Our leaders led, but not by talking. They led by action. They executed some stuff and put way more physical pressure on the opposition than they had in the first fifteen minutes.”

Ottawa came out at the start of the second half and scored early, making the game 25-21. Following the Ottawa try, both teams would go back and forth, resulting in almost 25 minutes of scoreless action.

However, Concordia never took their foot off the gas and added two more tries to seal the game. The last one came with only two minutes left and capped off a very intense match between two of the RSEQ’s best teams in the regular season. The final score of 37-21 surely pleased the crowd present at Concordia Stadium.

It was the second time this year that the Stingers have beaten the Gee-Gees. The last time they met, Concordia had beaten Ottawa 30-17. 

The Stingers will now be heading to their fourth consecutive RSEQ men’s rugby final where they will be facing the McGill Redbirds. A win would also mark a fourth consecutive provincial championship.

Lavery is expecting another competitive game against the team that finished first in the regular season.

“It’s going to be more or less the same. I will back us all day, but to be fair, I do not think there are going to be easy games between now and the time we’re done,” Lavery said. 

McGill will be highly motivated for the game as they will be seeking revenge on their cross-town rivals. They were defeated by Concordia 14-6 in a tightly contested match on Oct. 2. The Stingers had also eliminated them in the last RSEQ final in 2019 by a score of 38-19. 

This time however, Concordia will not be holding the home-field advantage in what has a chance to be their fourth straight title.  


Photograph by Aashka Patel


Stingers men’s rugby team defeated by Thunderbirds, will play for bronze

The Concordia Stingers men’s rugby team gave the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds a hard battle in Friday’s semi-final game, but ultimately lost 22-18.

Despite the loss, the Stingers left Concordia Stadium with pride. They brought their best on the field, and forced the Thunderbirds to do the same. Head coach Craig Beemer said he’s really happy with the effort and performance his team offered. He explained that the Stingers couldn’t have done much more.

“I told someone, which was a little bit cliché, but David [versus Goliath] doesn’t always win,” Beemer said. “I like the fact we just competed the entire game. I don’t really think about X’s and O’s right now. It feels like maybe we should have won, but it doesn’t work that way.”

The Thunderbirds scored the first 12 points of the game which were the only points scored in the first half. However, that was the biggest lead the game saw, as the Stingers pushed back in the second half and even took a 13-12 lead at one point. Beemer said his team was really motivated at halftime.

“We were looking at that game thinking we could win,” Beemer said. “There’s no question in the heart my team has. We didn’t back down, and in a lot of ways we took it to them in the second half. It was just a great team effort of heart and determination at 100 per cent.”

In the last minutes of the second half, the Thunderbirds added three points on a penalty kick. The Stingers would afterwards score a try in additional time, but it was too late.

The Stingers battle for bronze against the Queen’s University Gaels in their final game of the year on Sunday. The game starts at 10:30 a.m. at Concordia Stadium.


Feature photo by Alec Brideau


Stingers men’s rugby team starts CUMRC with a win

All teams were in action Wednesday for the first day of the Canadian University Men’s Rugby Championship (CUMRC). The Concordia Stingers concluded the day with a 10-7 victory over the University of Guelph Gryphons.

With eight teams in the tournament, the first-ranked team played the eighth-ranked team, the second-ranked team played the seventh, and so on.

The Stingers and Gryphons, fourth and fifth respectively, knew each other well, as they met last year for the previous edition of the CUMRC. The Stingers won that game 19-5.

Both teams had good scoring opportunities, however the Stingers’s defence played an almost perfect game, and helped the team win regardless of scoring just a single try and penalty kick. The try was scored by veteran Stephen Martinez in the first half.

Head coach Craig Beemer thought the Stingers were dominant in many aspects, but said the defence was really good.

“When [the offence] doesn’t score the points you need, and the game gets tight, you can get a crazy finish like that,” Beemer said. “Hats off to Guelph, they battled for the full 60 minutes, and really put us under pressure at the end.”

The decision to opt for a three-point penalty kick with 15 minutes left in the second half came from the game being a one score contest. Beemer said the opportunity was there, as the Stingers were aligned right between the posts in Gryphons’s territory.

“You want to automatically make it [a difference] of two scores,” Beemer said. “That came back right. In the second half, if you can advance it by another score or even more, then you take it.”

Stingers centre Aidan McMullan, who scored that penalty kick, said the experience of playing the CUMRC at home is awesome.

“We had the game at 6 p.m., so everyone could come after work,” said McMullan. “It’s awesome to have family and friends coming out, cheering you on, and supporting you through this whole season. Now, it’s finally this tournament, and we’re just going to keep on going.”

Stephen Martinez poses with Concordia’s athletics director, D’Arcy Ryan, after being named player of the game for the Stingers.

The Stingers will now play the two-time CUMRC defending champions University of British Columbia Thunderbirds in the semi-final on Friday. It’s the third time in as many years the two teams meet at the championship. Beemer said he likes his team’s chances.

“I like our players’ attitude right now,” Beemer said. “I think they believe in themselves. I like our attack. If you want to win gold, you have to beat the best team.”

The game starts at 2:30 p.m. at Concordia Stadium. The winner will play for gold at 1 p.m. on Sunday.


Photos by Cecilia Piga


A look at the 2018 Stingers all-stars

Men’s rugby highlights individual accolades by Concordia athletes

The 2018 fall varsity season is coming to an end, and Concordia saw its athletes in football, soccer, and rugby represent the Stingers with pride. Some teams did better than others, while some athletes were recognized for their stellar performances. Here’s a breakdown of all the Stingers all-stars winners and Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec (RSEQ) award-winners for the fall season.

Men’s rugby

Being the only Stingers team to win their championship this fall season, it’s no surprise the men’s rugby team have the most all-stars. Out of the 14 first-team all-stars, seven are Stingers: Stephen Martinez, Julian Alexander, Charles Debove, Thomas Goetz, Jackson Marquardt, Eliott Goussanou, and Lucas Hotton. Surprisingly, none of these players won any of the individual awards.

On the second all-star team, Dylan MacDonald, Michael Laplaine-Pereira, Jérome Lévesque, and Jonathan Banks represent the Stingers.

After winning their second-straight RSEQ championship, the Stingers finished fourth at nationals in Victoria, B.C.

Women’s rugby

Under new head coach Jocelyn Barrieau, the Stingers just missed the playoffs with a 2-5 record. The women’s rugby team was young—out of 28 players on the team, 21 were in their first or second year, with only two fifth-years.

Despite the amount of younger players, fourth-year veteran back Lia Hoyte was the Stingers’s sole representative on the first all-star team. Two of the other team’s backs, second-year Shawna Brayton and first-year Jasmine Baxter, were on the second all-star team.


Like the women’s rugby team, the Stingers football team had a new head coach this season. Brad Collinson faced plenty of challenges, as the team went 2-6, missing out on the playoffs for the first time in five years.

The football team had two stars shining bright this season. Offensive lineman Maurice Simba and wide receiver Jarryd Taylor both made the first all-star team. Simba is draft-eligible for both the NFL and CFL, and will be one of the first players from a Canadian university to play in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl in January. Taylor led the league in receiving with 527 yards on 24 catches with two touchdowns.

Assistant coach Peter Regimbald, who was in his 50th and final season with the Stingers, also won the RSEQ’s assistant coach of the year award. He has been with the team since they were still known as the Loyola Warriors.

Women’s soccer midfielder Chama Sedki made the RSEQ second all-star team. Photo by Mackenzie Lad.
Women’s soccer

Following the theme of new coaches, the women’s soccer team, in their first season under Greg Sutton, finished with a 4-9-1 record, 13 points out of a playoff spot. Regardless, it’s tied for the most wins they’ve had in a season since 2013.

Even though forward Sarah Humes and defender Claudia Asselin finished tied ninth in league scoring with five goals each, only midfielder Chama Sedki made the second all-star team. Sedki played in 12 games, scoring three goals and adding three assists.

Men’s soccer

On the men’s side, the Stingers had their worst season since 2014, finishing with a 1-10-1 record. It’s at least one win better than their winless season four years ago. Forward Yazid Dawiss led the team with two goals, while eight other players had one goal each. No players made the RSEQ all-star teams.

Main photo by Hannah Ewen.


Stingers rugby head back to nationals with different mindset

Men’s team looks to impress after two straight undefeated seasons

The men Concordia Stingers rugby team successfully defended their Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec (RSEQ) title against the Bishop’s University Gaiters on Nov. 10 at the Concordia Stadium.

When a team goes undefeated for two-straight years, it might seem like things couldn’t be better, but don’t be fooled—the Stingers’s face a demanding schedule.

“The main challenge of playing loaded rugby seasons is that there is no room for error,” said fifth-year player Jonathan Banks. “Rugby is such a competitive sport with heavy amounts of contact. Injuries occur and it’s important that we have the appropriate players to fill in these gaps in the lineup, which we did.”

Third-year player Lucas Hotton said time management and good nutrition are musts in extended seasons.

“Really keeping the body in good condition would be the most important challenge,” Hotton said. “Diet, training, and rest are all factors that have to be considered in such a long year. It’s so imperative to [take care of] your body if you want to make it through.”

Coming off the 2017 championship season, the Stingers knew they were going to be the ones to beat.

“Our confidence was high, yet we knew that every other team had their game against us circled on their schedule and would give us everything they got,” Banks said. “We had to keep pushing ourselves to get better and give our all every game.”

The Stingers will play the opening game of nationals against the UBC Thunderbirds. Photo by Hannah Ewen.

Head coach Craig Beemer described the Stingers’s second-straight undefeated season as a long process requiring the involvement of many people. He said he had a good coaching staff supporting him, as well as 50 hard-working players on and off the field.

“Players were really committed to the team,” Beemer said. “It also takes a lot of video sessions and practices to get there, and I think everybody did a fantastic job on that point.”

Hotton, who was with the Stingers during the 2016 season when they went 1-6, said the team’s current success is due to their mental strength. He was part of a core group of players, including Moritz Wittmann and Charles Debove that turned the team around to go undefeated in RSEQ play.

“Having come from the depths of a season where we finished last, and still having a lot of those players around, really propelled the guys last season, which really showed in our record,” Hotton said. “Then, to go to nationals and to have that same feeling we had when we finished last really pushed the guys once again to go back into that grind mode.”

The Stingers are headed to the 2018 Canadian University Men’s Rugby Championship, in Victoria, B.C. from Nov. 21 to 25. Beemer said each individual on the team will have to play a key role if they want to win the tournament.

“We’ll need the best from all of our guys there,” Beemer said. “It’s not just about one or two individuals. We need everyone to step up and bring their A-game. The defence will need to be strong, and I think that was one of our assets this season.”

Third-year prop Stephen Martinez said having success at nationals has been the team’s goal since the start of the season.

“We all knew what was up for grabs with nationals, and that right away was our goal,” Martinez said. “Getting a RSEQ championship is a great accomplishment, but we wanted to try to take it to the next level and get a national championship.”

Hotton said the team’s participation at nationals last year in Guelph helped the players better prepare this season. The Stingers lost their two games in last year’s tournament against the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds, 46-0, and the McMaster Marauders, 38-11.

“That left a bit of a sour taste in our mouths coming back from Guelph,” Hotton said. “We really understood what work needed to be put in to get to a level were we could compete at the national stage. We sort of switched to a one-game-at-a-time mentality and progressed our defensive systems much more than before. To have so many returners really helped that new mentality, as they all understood what our goal was, and the work needed to get there.”

Banks credits the trust level between the coaches and players as a reason for their successful season. It allows the coaches to come up with the best game plans in order to win.

“When we stepped on the field game after game this season, we knew exactly what to do play after play,” Banks said. “Our coaches trusted in us because we trusted in them, and that’s what I believe makes this team so special.”

Main photo by Hannah Ewen.


Michael Laplaine-Pereira is hooked on a rugby lifestyle

Third-year Stingers enjoys the culture of the sport he loves

“My favourite thing would be stepping on the field right before the kickoff,” said Michael Laplaine-Pereira, a hooker on the Stingers men’s rugby team. “To feel physically ready and mentally ready, to see that first ball leave the kicker and run, that’s the best feeling.”

On Sept. 25, the Stingers honoured Laplaine-Pereira with male Athlete of the Week. He said it was rewarding, not only as a personal achievement, but because it gave rugby the recognition it often misses out on because of the more popular sports. He also praised the work his teammates do to allow him to succeed on the field.

“At the end of the day, this is a team sport and we’re dependent on the others standing next to us,” Laplaine-Pereira said. “You really get a sense of how much you can accomplish because of [the team]. It feels like every highlight of my season has been [curated] by the other players. Everything I do, it’s not doable without them.”

After an impressive season of five tries in five games—the most in the league—and two game MVP honours, it’s a shame Laplaine-Pereira wasn’t able to show off his skills in the playoffs. On Oct. 19, in the fifth regular-season game against cross-town rivals McGill Redmen, Laplaine-Pereira received a red card for kicking a Redmen player in the head. He was suspended for four games, missing the remainder of the season as the Stingers went undefeated en route to a championship.

“It’s probably one of the top three most emotionally challenging moments of my life,” said Laplaine-Pereira about not being able to play in the playoffs. “After it happened, I was crying because it was so hard [to deal with]. It was a mistake. I knew it was my fault; I didn’t hide from it.”

Laplaine-Pereira (in grey hoodie) did not get to play in the final, which the Stingers won on Nov. 10. Photo by Hannah Ewen.

Before the rest of the team went back onto the field after halftime of the McGill game, Laplaine-Pereira said: “We all make mistakes on the field; we see each other make mistakes. What rugby’s about, the brotherhood, it’s to not blame [anyone], but it’s to pick them up and adapt for the best [interest] of the team. What I did, it’s unacceptable, not for the rules, but for the culture.”

Head coach Craig Beemer spoke to Laplaine-Pereira during halftime and told him how, after playing hard and rough, part of the culture is that you can go grab a drink with the opponent.

“The culture behind rugby, the family, it’s not the same as in soccer,” said the 23-year-old. He also noted that rugby is less competitive than soccer, and he loves the culture behind the sport, which includes the “unspoken guidelines, the unwritten rules” Laplaine-Pereira holds close.

Laplaine-Pereira was enrolled in sports starting at a young age and has always been active. Before rugby, he played soccer for almost a decade. He said he remembers his parents being there for him and encouraging him when he was five years old, and that support hasn’t faded.

Laplaine-Pereira’s parents are originally from Portuguese colonies in Africa—his dad from Angola and his mom from Zaire, now called the Democratic Republic of the Congo. They moved to Canada for a better life, where Laplaine-Pereira and his brother could get a chance to continue their education.

At 14, Laplaine-Pereira injured his knee playing soccer, which put him out of play for six months. He had also just changed high schools for the third time and was going through some personal issues. Ultimately, Laplaine-Pereira took a break from playing sports for four years. He wasn’t part of a team until Cégep, when he joined the Vanier Cheetahs soccer team.

During his time at Vanier College, where he studied health science from 2012 to 2016, his soccer coach suggested he play rugby. In his final year, Laplaine-Pereira played for both teams but saw far greater success as a rugby player. He made the all-star team, was almost nominated for MVP and was deemed the most consistent player.

When he started at Concordia in the winter of 2016, Laplaine-Pereira was enrolled in biochemistry but hated it. He decided to switch into a more practical field, and ended up in environmental science. After realizing he hated that too, Laplaine-Pereira changed to software engineering last year. Despite constantly changing programs, he admitted that Concordia, especially the sports complex, is like a second home, and his teammates are like his family.  

The third-year player is also a reservist and has worked as an infantry officer for the Canadian Armed Forces for the past three years. This is where he gets “down and dirty in the woods.” His job as an officer includes planning and organizing events, such as exercises for his team. His current education path would allow him to be a cyber operator for the army or could lead to a career in AI. He said he might even mix his skills as a project manager with his passion for gaming, in the hopes of working for Blizzard Entertainment, the video game developer behind World of Warcraft.

Main photo by Hannah Ewen.


Stingers win back-to-back RSEQ championships

Men’s rugby goes undefeated two years running

The Concordia Stingers men’s rugby team won their second-consecutive Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec (RSEQ) title Saturday, beating the Bishop’s University Gaiters 22-20 at Concordia Stadium.

The Stingers haven’t lost a game since Oct. 2016. Photo by Hannah Ewen.

A successful three-point penalty kick by the Stingers with six minutes left to play made the difference in what was a really tight game from start to finish. The Gaiters controlled most of the first half, scoring first on a try from Robert McGovern. They led 14-12 at halftime.

“We weren’t really happy with our ball skills,” said Stingers head coach Craig Beemer after the game. “We were playing a little too loose and made extra passes. We really focused on our body height [in the second half]. We made sure in contacts that we were holding on to the ball.”

The game was played in windy conditions, which led to dropped balls and even missed penalty kicks on both sides.

“We knew there would be a lot of wind today,” said Stingers’s back row Zachary Pelletier. “The kicks have been so important today for our teams. We had to work hard until the end.”

That win against the Gaiters also confirmed back-to-back undefeated RSEQ seasons for the Stingers. They haven’t lost a game since October 2016, when the Gaiters beat them in overtime of the quarter-final.

“There’s a lot of work that goes into this,” Beemer said. “It’s really a long process. I have a lot of coaches who did an amazing job and, more importantly, I had 50 players, on a weekly basis, working hard to get better.”
Beemer said his team’s depth has grown in his three years with the Stingers, and has played a big role in the back-to-back titles.

“We’re also not really looking at what other people are doing, but looking internally [at] how can we get better every day,” Beemer said. “Winning is a result, but that’s all it is for us. It’s what we do on week-to-week, how we build to become better individuals and then, by becoming better individuals, putting in the team concept.”

The Stingers needed a strong second half after trailing at halftime. Photo by Hannah Ewen.

The Stingers are now heading to the 2018 Canadian University Men’s Rugby Championship, held in Victoria, BC from Nov. 21-25.

“This is something that was on our minds at the beginning of the season,” Beemer said. “However, we haven’t talked about it in the last weeks. The [players] knew it was something they could have the opportunity [to play] for at the end of the year.”

The Stingers lost their two games played in last year’s tournament. Beemer added that the team knows what to expect and is looking forward to the challenge ahead.

“We’re looking to build on momentum from last year,” Beemer said. “We know there’s gonna be a lot of great teams out there.”

Pelletier said his team will use the next days to make sure they are ready for their opponents.

“We have two other weeks to work [before the Championship],” Pelletier said. “There will be really good teams there. We have to be ready. We just need to keep working hard.”

Main photos by Hannah Ewen.


Stingers rugby head back to RSEQ final with 17-0 win

Sherbrooke Vert et Or latest victim of undefeated season

The Concordia Stingers men’s rugby team remains perfect and is headed to the Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec (RSEQ) final after beating the Université de Sherbrooke Vert et Or 17-0 on Nov. 3 at the Concordia Stadium.

“We had a great season, but this win doesn’t mean anything yet,” said centre Charles Debove, who didn’t play in the game. “We need to stay humble about it and get ready for the finals.”

It was a cold and rainy Saturday afternoon as fans gathered to watch the semi-final. Although the Stingers hosted it at the Concordia Stadium, it almost felt like it was a home game for the Vert et Or, as there were probably more Sherbrooke fans in attendance than Stingers fans.

The Stingers will host the Bishop’s Gaiters in the RSEQ final. Photo by Gabe Chevalier.

Within the first minute of the game, the Vert et Or had a great chance to strike first. Sherbrooke’s Clément Tisnerat, awarded rookie of the year, blocked a Stingers kick, and tired to recover the bouncing ball and return it for a try. Instead, he tapped the ball forward and the Stingers regained possession.

It was a defensive affair for most of the first half as the score remained 0-0 almost until the end, and neither defence gave up any ground. Finally, the Stingers got close to the try zone and capitalized. Eight-man Lucas Hotton was able to plow through several Sherbrooke defenders to take the seven-point lead.

It was quite the physical game and both teams jawed at each other. Both teams did a good job of securing the ball considering how cold and rainy it was. Concordia extended their lead to two possessions, making it 10-0 as Moritz Wittmann kicked a drop goal early in the second half. During the later part of the game, it started to sloppy, as both teams seemed to be quite tired, letting scoring chances slip right through their fingers.

Every time Sherbrooke marched down the field, the Stingers defense tightened up and came up with a big play—they simply would not allow the Vert et Or to score. This was representative of how their defence was all season long—they gave up less than 50 points in six regular-season games. Sherbrooke got frustrated at their inability to put points on the board, yelling at the ref and spiking the ball down.

The Stingers’s Malcolm Baird ended up getting another late try to win the game. The Stingers will play the Bishop’s Gaiters in the RSEQ final game next Saturday at Concordia at 2 p.m.  

Main photo by Gabe Chevalier.


Stingers men’s rugby finish second consecutive undefeated regular season

Hosts beat Gee-Gees 52-3 in snowy game at Concordia

The Concordian Stingers men’s rugby team beat the University of Ottawa Gee-Gees 52-3 at Concordia Stadium, Saturday night. This is the second consecutive year the Stingers finish the regular season with an undefeated record.

Heavy snowfall and a temperature of just two degrees made conditions tough for the Stingers, but third-year fly half Moritz Wittmann knew the weather would be more of a mental battle than a physical one.

“You’ve got to keep it tight,” Wittmann said. “You don’t try and make any big passes or fancy plays. You have to keep moving, bounce up and down, run everywhere,” he added. “It’s an incentive to work harder.”

The Stingers will now play the Vert et Or in the semi-final. Photo by Hannah Ewen.

The Stingers started off strong, as they forced the Gee-Gee’s into a turnover off the beginning kick, and began to show Ottawa why they haven’t lost in conference play since 2016.

After the Gee-Gees stopped them from scoring for a few minutes, the Stingers eventually broke through for a try in the 11th minute, and quickly followed it up in the 15th, to make it 14-0. The Gee-Gees made a push towards the Stingers’s goal, but after a lengthy stand on the goal line, Concordia held Ottawa to a kick conversion, their only points of the night.

The Stingers’s physical play was on display, just as head coach Craig Beemer hoped. “It’s part of the game plan; we needed to make a physical statement,” Beemer said. As the weather conditions became a factor, Beemer knew that his players would be able to control it. “When it comes to rising to challenges, there’s good on-field leadership that really steps up.”

After another try late in the first half, the Stingers ended the half with a 19-3 lead. As the night went on, the weather began to worsen, and that’s when the hosts began to take advantage of a very cold environment. Several large carries by Concordia began to break down Ottawa’s defensive effort, and broke through for five tries in the second half.

Despite the undefeated regular season, Beemer still maintained there is work to be done in order to win another championship. “We’ve got a lot of returning guys from last year’s squad,” Beemer said. “They know the size of the challenge that is coming, and that the quality of the league has improved significantly from last year. [There will be] no complacency from these guys,” he added. “They were asked to take a step forward and dominate some collisions, and make a statement going into the playoffs.”

Wittman mentioned that, in order to see that same success in the upcoming playoffs, they need to take it one step at a time. Last season, the Stingers lost both games at nationals, which aren’t part of U Sports. Wittman said they use their loss as motivation: “We’re definitely more hungry. Other teams are coming for us.”
The Stingers will try to defend their championship title when they play the Université de Sherbrooke Vert et Or on Nov. 3 at 2 p.m, in the semi-final.

Main photo by Hannah Ewen. 


Charles Debove credits teammates for his success

Rugby centre enjoys winning with the Stingers

The centre position in any sport is crucial. The player occupying this role must be as involved offensively as defensively. Charles Debove is that centre on the Concordia Stingers men’s rugby team.

“He’s like the father of the group,” said Stingers head coach Craig Beemer about Debove. “I don’t even think we’ve remotely come close to seeing the best of what Charles has to offer this year, which is obviously a compliment to him.”

Debove, originally from Nice, France, is in his fourth year with the Stingers and fully enjoys his experience.

“This picture says everything,” Debove said, pointing at his team leaving the field after their third win of the 2018-19 Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec (RSEQ) season on Sept. 28.

Debove missed most of the 2016 season with an ACL injury in his left knee. Photo by Hannah Ewen.

Debove’s first two years with the Stingers were challenging due to injuries and coaching changes. A torn Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) in his left knee forced the centre to miss most of the 2016-17 season. According to RSEQ statistics, Debove was limited to two games that year, finishing his season without a point. The Stingers went 1-6 that year and allowed 243 points, the most in the league.

“I went back to training for six months before getting back for my first game,” Debove said. “It was super stressful. The contact was hard in my first game back because I wasn’t used to contact anymore. That’s rugby. If you didn’t play for six months, you’ll feel it a lot.”

The 2017-18 Stingers season was nothing like their previous one. They won all their regular-season and playoff games before winning the RSEQ title. They lost to the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds and the McMaster Marauders in the national championship. According to Debove, last season served as a learning experience for what’s ahead this year.

“That’s where it all started,” Debove said. “For sure, we faced two major forces in Canadian rugby. It was hard for us because we were not ready, but now we are and that’s our goal. We try to see further while remaining humble and as competitive as we were last year.”

Debove was a big part of last year’s success. Finishing the RSEQ season with nine tries and 45 points, he was named game MVP three times. He was also recognized for his performances, earning the RSEQ MVP in men’s rugby and being named in the RSEQ’s first all-star team. For the France native, his teammates have a lot to do with his success on the field.

“I can’t talk for myself,” Debove said. “I must talk for my team because they are the ones who make me shine. We help out each other and that’s how we win games. The three times I got the MVP last season, I was just playing my game. However, it’s still a team game.”

“They’ve really put me in easy situations,” he added. “We also have a system that is really expanded, so it gives us a lot of spaces and options.”

Debove still admits he was honoured to received the awards last season.

“I just think I gave my best last year,” Debove said. “It was cool to receive this RSEQ’s league MVP. It was a great honour.”

Debove makes a tackle during the Stingers game against the Carabins on Sept. 28. Photo by Hannah Ewen.

Debove spends a lot of time with his teammates, and he cherishes those moments. He explained that, even off the field, he is always with at least one other teammate.

“We’re here together like five times a week,” Debove said. “This is something we can’t find with another team, or with our provincial teams.”

“We also watch videos because we’re doing this seven days a week since we’re in the season,” he added. “After, we learn from it and adjust because everybody knows our plays. We always need to adapt and change things.”

According to Debove, these efforts are essential if the Stingers want to achieve more success than last year.

“We need to be prepared for what’s coming,” he said. “We first need to win the RSEQ title, and then we go to the nationals. It’s in the way, but we need to complete all the steps.”

So far this season, Debove has three tries in four games. The Stingers are currently ranked first in the league with a 4-0 record.

Main photo by Hannah Ewen.


Stingers beat Carabins for third win this season

Defence holds strong to remain undefeated in ten straight

The Concordia Stingers men’s rugby team remain undefeated this season with a 36-3 victory over the Université de Montréal Carabins Friday night at Concordia Stadium. This is their third win of the season, as they remain on top of the Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec (RSEQ).

Despite what the final score suggests, it was the Stingers’s defence that got the best of the Carabins. The Carabins had numerous scoring opportunities in the game, but were simply unable to pass the Stingers’s goalline.

Michael Laplaine-Pereira scored two tries in the game. Photo by Hannah Ewen.

“We have a certain structure [on defence] that we try to play with and I think we mapped that out very well,” said head coach Craig Beemer after the game. “It was very aggressive off the line and we didn’t miss too many tackles.”

Beemer added that he was happy with the way his offence played compared to the first two games. “We are not simply relying on individuals and overall, I am really happy with our performance,” he said.

Hooker Michael Laplaine-Pereira, who finished the game with two tries, was named MVP of the game for the Stingers.

Stingers Dylan MacDonald and Stephen Martinez received yellow cards, while Malcolm Baird received a red card.

“I thought the referee was very critical of us,” Beemer said. “But at the same time, if you take that many penalties, you will get cards.”

According to Beemer, the team responded to adversity the right way, despite receiving many penalties.

“Sometimes you’re really getting frustrated,” Beemer added. “I think our guys did a really good job with keeping calm, just playing defence and trying to create turnovers to get the ball.”

With that win, the Stingers won all of their last 10 regular season games, dating back to last year’s undefeated season.

“You always want to win the last game,” said Beemer, referring to the championship game. “That record is more about the players and their willingness to get better every day.”

The Stingers will now face the Bishop’s University Gaiters on Oct. 5 at 7 p.m. in Sherbrooke.

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