Fumble and You’re Out

Late McGill Rally Finishes Stingers

Photos by Amanda Laprade

A tough final quarter was all it took for Concordia’s men’s rugby team to drop their fourth straight on Oct. 23, as they fell to the McGill Redmen 23-6 in a closely fought contest.

Stingers centre Jonathan Dextras-Romagnino noted that the loss was due to his team’s inability to play a full game.

“The first 60 minutes matter, but it’s that last 20 that are important,” he said.

From the outset the Stingers were defensively dominant, stealing many of McGill’s possessions and forcing them to struggle on any complex offensive patterns they tried. The Stingers were also able to capitalize on their timely kicking opportunities, establishing an early 6-0 lead.

Though they would get close to the red zone, the Stingers were successful in holding off the Redmen, sustaining a 6-3 lead at halftime.

This caused the opposition to simplify their style of play in the second half, focusing more on efficient passing. The strategy paid off, as McGill tied it up eight minutes in with a penalty goal from winger Gideon Balloch.

Before long, the Redmen broke the game wide open when centre Quentin Pradere found the red zone, scoring the first try of the game to establish a 16-6 lead.

Meanwhile, the Stingers were having trouble keeping up, as their set pieces kept resulting in lost balls or fumbles.

“We managed to hold them 9-6 ‘til the last 20 minutes. I don’t think any other team has managed to do that this year.” Stingers centre Jonathan Dextras-Romagnino

Fittingly, it was a late ConU fumble that resulted in Redmen flanker Jon Lee rushing to the end zone unscathed to cap off the scoring at 23-6 for McGill.

The final minutes saw many of the Stingers’ opportunities resulting in blown catches, well-timed Redmen tackles and numerous penalties. “If you don’t have the ball, you can’t win games, and in the second half we didn’t have the ball much,” said Dextras-Romagnino.

“Overall, we’re having difficulty with the set piece; we’re not getting a platform to work off, so attacking’s difficult for us,” said head coach Clive Gibson of the Stingers’ offensive performance.

In spite of the loss, Dextras-Romagnino remarked, “That was the best game we played for the whole year. We managed to hold them 9-6 ‘til the last 20 minutes. I don’t think any other team has managed to do that this year.”

The Stingers will head to Lennoxville this Friday to take on the Bishop’s University Gaiters in the semi-finals. Kickoff is at 8:15 p.m.