Concordia 38, ÉTS 7: Stingers Men’s Rugby Bounces Back
Despite Slow Start, Stingers Beat Out Piranhas
“We knew right away that this was a really tough team,” said head coach Craig Beemer of their opponents after a convincing 38-7 win over the École de technologie supérieure Piranhas on Thursday night.
“I don’t think the guys were necessarily quite ready for it,” he continued. “We didn’t have that excitement that you saw in the last 20 minutes.”
The first half had the Stingers off to a rough start, with a yellow card early on. Both teams got into it with each other and with the officials, making for a chippy game from the get go.
“The ref was really controlling the game,” said Beemer. “It’s a physical contact sport so it’s hard in the first 10-15 minutes when you’re trying to be physical and then getting sent off for it. But I think we adjusted quite well and there were no cards in the second half.”
“The game was still slower, much slower than we want. We like to play a fast-paced game,” he continued. “But the ref is a part of the game, and something you’ve got to figure out right away because […] they’re the boss. You’ve got to figure out where they’re setting the standard and find the balance.”
After 40 minutes, the Stingers went into halftime deadlocked with the Piranhas. While the Stingers performed well on both ends of the field, they were as evenly matched as they’ve been all season and small technical mistakes and tension coming from both sides caused them to falter, if only slightly.
With that in mind, the Stingers took halftime to regroup and refocus. While the Stingers from the first half seemed to be merely going through the motions, that team was left behind as they kicked off the second half.
“Halftime was about getting our mental game right,” said Beemer. “There were a lot of mistakes, physical mistakes, but I think it came down more to our mental preparation and our attitude coming into the game than anything else.”
The team that took the field then was rejuvenated, playing with far more intensity and energy.
“We just reinforced the idea of what’s important next,” said rookie centre Aidan McMullan. “Everyone realized, forget about this first half and move on to the next play.”
The Stingers got back on the board early in the second with a try from lock Dylan McDonald. From there on out, they would manage to keep the Piranhas off the scoreboard for the remainder of the game as they racked up try after try to extend their lead.
Around the 20-minute mark in the second half, as Beemer subbed on captain Jackson Marquardt, fans were treated to a taste of the Stingers they have grown to expect and enjoy—the two-time national champion Stingers on a 21-game win streak in the Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec.
Their secret to success? The team’s culture, according to Beemer.
“There’s no reason to accept anything less than your best,” he said. “I think a lot of it has to do with our culture. We leave things better than we found it, we’re putting our best foot forward everyday and we’re surrounded with good people.”
From the midpoint of the second half onwards, it was smooth sailing. The Stingers scored four more tries, and converted on all but two of them to seal the deal on a 38-7 win, keeping their streak alive and remaining in the top spot in the Réseau du Sport Étudiant du Québec.
The Stingers will face the Université de Montréal Carabins on Oct. 20 at Vincent D’Indy field before returning home the following weekend to close out the regular season against the Bishop’s Gaiters.
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