Concordia 36, Montréal 29: The Brawl at Montréal
Emily Magee Scores Twice as Stingers Women’s Rugby Defeat the Université de Montréal Carabins in a Physical Rematch
It was a Friday-night thriller that set fire to the autumn air at Université de Montréal’s Terrain Vincent d’Indy.
Entering the game, the visiting Concordia Stingers led the RSEQ’s Section B standings with two wins and no losses; while the University du Montreal Carabins were in second place with one win and one loss.
The Stingers trounced the Carabins in their season-opener, and the teams played most of the game on the Carabins side of the field. By halftime, the Carabins had lost their early-game zest and appeared defeated.
The start of the second game was similar to the first: the teams traded possessions and fought for territory, yet under the bright lights at Terrain Vincent d’Indy, the Carabins redoubled their intensity.
Valérie Langevin led the charge for the Carabins and imposed her will on the Stingers. When Langevin took possession of the ball, she targeted the nearest Stinger and rampaged for mid-range runs. Like a boxer’s body shot, Langevin’s runs diminished the Stingers’ courage and energy.
Standing-up to Langevin, and leading the Stingers defensive front was Mercedes Martino. Each time the Carabins attempted to cross the Stingers’ defensive line, Martino unleashed thunderous tackles.
Martino is a keen defensive player with an analytical eye for the game.
“I always want the ball, I like to hit people, and I like to run over people,” said Martino.
With mechanical efficiency, Martino pummeled the Carabins, and this physicality set the tone for her first try of the season.
Thirty-three minutes into the first half, and after the Stingers had confronted a fierce stalemate along Carabins’ goal line, Martino rumbled into the Carabins in-goal area.
Martino’s try pushed the score to 17-10, and for the remaining minutes of the first half, the teams traded possessions and distressed the once-privileged Stingers fans.
The first half ended after the Carabins scored a try and reduced the Stingers lead to 17-15.
The Carabins pressured the Stingers in the second half and continually pushed the ball into the Stingers’ territory, yet to the Carabins’ dismay, this pressure resulted in quick-strike scores for the Stingers.
Over nine minutes into the second half, Emily Magee capitalized on a blocked ball in her defensive end, sprinted into the Carabins’ in-goal area, and placed the ball on the turf, increasing the score to 29-15.
The 2019 season marks Magee’s return to the Stingers after she played for the team in 2014 and then left to pursue rugby and travel.
“My last year at Concordia, I struggled a little bit making the team and getting some playing time.” Continuing, Magee suggests, “I just give it my all every time and try to work.”
Magee’s work ethic helped her shine in this game, and her try held the Stingers’ lead until the thirty-third minute of the second half when the Carabins’ Rosalie Authier evened the score at 29-29.
After the try, the Stingers kicked to the Carabins, and the players’ peaking intensity resulted in a stalemate that encouraged anxious screams from the crowd.
The teams traded possessions for minutes after the Carabins tied the game. Then, after the Stingers stole possession and began working the ball down the field, Mcgee seized the ball and stormed the Carabins defence on a triumphant run that put the Stingers in front 36-29.
The Carabins’ hopes for victory diminished as the clock’s march progressed. With less than a minute remaining, the Carabins’ Pauline Moussa prepared for the final lineout of the game. As Moussa prepared, screams from the crowd and instructions from the benches electrified the moment.
Moussa tossed the ball, the Stingers intercepted, and as the game ended, the Stingers who had occupied the bench, charged onto the field and engulfed their teammates.
Stingers’ Head Coach, Jocelyn Barrieau credits her team’s resilience to their love for one another, suggesting, “I think if you really love each other, you find a way to make it work.”
Discussing the Stingers’ game-winning try, Barrieau professes, “If it would have been a tie game or if we would have lost, I think they still would love each other. But, that was a moment where they dug pretty deep and expressed something that doesn’t happen very often in life, so I’m pretty proud of that moment.”
Next week, the Stingers travel to Bishop’s University to play the Gaiters for the second time this season.
In their first match, the Stingers overwhelmed the Gaiters for large parts of the game, yet the Gaiters showed signs of strength throughout the game, and will likely improve on their home field.
The match takes place on Sept. 21, at Colter Field.
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