End of the Road
Stingers’ Effort Not Enough to Take Down Laval
Concordia’s women’s rugby team will not be making their third straight appearance at the Canadian Interuniversity Sport nationals after being drubbed 43-27 by the top-ranked Laval Rouge et Or.
Starting the match in spectacular fashion, the Stingers were successfully breaking down the Laval defense as they effectively counteracted the physicality of their opposition by finding the gaps and flying through them.
But inconsistency proved lethal as 10 minutes of weak defense characterized by missed tackles and basic mistakes allowed the Rouge et Or to quickly engage their running game in the second half, scoring three tries within a five-minute span.
“After the first try they exploited that same tackling weakness and we just couldn’t recover quickly enough,” said Stingers head coach Graeme McGravie. Laval then managed to create a gap that proved impossible for ConU to close.
“We had a collapse for around 10 minutes. Even after a comeback was out of reach, we kept fighting,” said Stingers centre Jackie Tittley. “Both teams have struggled against each other but they just capitalized on our mistakes more than we had on theirs. This year they were just more consistent.”
In spite of the loss, McGravie believed the team played outstanding rugby for the majority of the game, and highlighted in particular the play of fly half Erica Hamilton and full back Jenna Giuliani as having been especially strong.
“We were doing great offensively. We wanted to make them move and we had practiced plays all week,” said McGravie.
Unfortunately, their inability to close out games against Laval was a thorn in the team’s side all season, as this loss marked their third to the Rouge et Or this year.
After a dominant win against McGill last week, the team collectively felt as though they were peaking at the right time.
“It was good to see the culmination of eight to nine weeks of work in our play for the first 50 minutes. We had kept getting better each week. It was a great season overall,” remarked McGravie.
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