Concordia 36, Université de Montréal 3: Stingers Men’s Rugby Builds on Unbeaten Streak
Moritz Wittmann Makes His Return to Field in Win Over Carabins
Things got off to rough start for the Stingers men’s rugby team on Friday night, going down 3-0 after being backed onto their own try-line, taking penalty after penalty just minutes into the first half.
The Carabins got themselves in just the right spot to be able to take the penalty kick and send it right through the uprights, earning the only lead they’d see all game.
Fortunately for the Stingers, they were able to turn it around fairly quickly, shutting out the Carabins for the remainder of the match.
In what seemed like seconds after the Carabins sunk that penalty kick, the Stingers found themselves in their opponents’ half, and then over their try-line. Just like that they were back in the game where they would remain.
Despite what the final score may say about this game, this might be the most evenly matched the Stingers have been in the first half of their season. The Carabins side was aggressive and physical, but the home team managed to keep their composure.
“I was pretty impressed with the physicality of [the Carabins],” said Stingers head coach Craig Beemer. “I was extra impressed with our mental state. A lot of the time games like that can get really carried away with some anger and some emotion and I thought that the referee was very critical of us and we did a good job of handling that.”
One strong point the Stingers capitalized on in this game was their defensive ability. The Carabins were putting the pressure on them, but the Stingers managed to shut them down time and time again.
Friday’s match also marked the return of veteran Moritz Wittmann to the pitch, his first game of the season. After being sidelined with a concussion against Sherbrooke and ÉTS, Wittmann was ready to be back in action.
“It’s a short season so we only have six games, and it’s my last season so I didn’t want to miss any more games than I’ve already missed,” said Wittmann. “Coming back was a pretty incredible feeling and it was a lot of fun.”
Wittmann himself performed almost as if he’d never been away from the game, scoring a beautiful try all by himself.
“I’m extraordinarily happy to have him back,” said Beemer after the game, chuckling. “I think he needed to get some runs in and get his shoulder in there. He was trying to do a little too much himself but I think after he went out and scored his first try on his own, he calmed down a little.”
With their 13-0 win streak in the RSEQ still in tact, the Stingers set their sights on their next opponent: Bishops University. Bishops is also having an undefeated season and has a reputation for being a tough opponent.
“Bishops is always a big game, they have a good crowd so that really adds a factor to the on-field presence for us,” said captain Lucas Hotton. “Certainly we’re going to work on discipline at the breakdown, but I think we’re just going to take it one game at a time and really focus on our little things.”
The Stingers take on the Bishops Gaiters on Saturday Oct. 5 at Coulter Field in Sherbrooke, where they look to extend their win streak to 14-0.
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