ConU Surrenders Championship
Second Half Meltdown Makes the Difference
A second half collapse led to Concordia’s men’s rugby team surrendering the provincial championship to the McGill Redmen for the second straight year, losing 28-7 last Sunday.
“We started well but it didn’t last,” said Stingers head coach Clive Gibson referring to the second half meltdown.
The scoring started in the dying minutes of the half when the Redmen took a place kick around the 20 yard line off a Stingers penalty, resulting in a 3-0 lead heading into the second half.
Riding this momentum after the break, the Redmen scored a try in the first five minutes of play, as winger Gideon Balloch put McGill up 8-0.
At this point, frustration began to get the best of the Stingers when blind side flanker Kevin Marks-Beaubrun took a questionable penalty for making an unauthorized tackle. This gave the Redmen a field goal opportunity they capitalized.
Before long it was Balloch at it again, advancing the ball off a kick forward, which second row Redman Roderick Mckenzie caught in the end-zone, putting them up 18-0.
The Redmen added another try 25 minutes in off a Stingers kick forward, with the McGill making the necessary passes to move the ball and ConU missing some crucial tackles.
While the Stingers appeared dead after this try, they still had some fight left. With 10 minutes on the clock, fly half Adriano D’Angelo made his way to the end zone to score the team’s lone try.
“We couldn’t get on the front foot, and the game of rugby is played on the front foot.” Stingers head coach Clive Gibson
But chances of a Stingers comeback was erased moments later when Cameron Perrin of the Redmen scored last minute to secure McGill’s sixth straight championship.
Gibson blames the team’s loss on poor execution. “We couldn’t get on the front foot, and the game of rugby is played on the front foot,” he said.
Redmen head coach Craig Beemer credited his team’s explosive offense for the win.
“They did a good job of staying balanced defensively, but in the second half we were able to pick up the pace, pick up the tempo and put their back three under pressure. We put them on the back foot.”
There was some silver lining for the Stingers however, as captain Jonathan Dextras Romagino and teammates D’Angelo and Gavin Drohan were selected as Réseau Sport Étudiant du Québec all stars.
Drohan, who led the Stingers in tackles, was thrilled with the honor but would have preferred the championship. “We’ll be training all winter and all summer and next year we hope to contend for that title.”