Men’s Rugby: Imperfect Victory

Stingers Scrape Out a Win Over Bishop’s

Eight-man Stanislas Prehu handles the ball in a lineout during the Stingers win over the Bishop’s Gaiters on Sunday.  Photo Laura Lalonde
Kicker Joey Fulginiti was responsible for 14 of his team’s 34 points in the Stingers win over Bishop’s, enough for game MVP honours. Photo Laura Lalonde
The Stingers beat the Bishop’s Gaiters 34-21 in their matchup this past Sunday, Sept. 14. Photo Laura Lalonde
The Stingers beat the Bishop’s Gaiters 34-21 in their matchup this past Sunday, Sept. 14. Photo Laura Lalonde
The Stingers beat the Bishop’s Gaiters 34-21 in their matchup this past Sunday, Sept. 14. Photo Laura Lalonde

The Stingers men’s rugby team ended their opening week on a winning note as they defeated the Bishop’s Gaiters 34-21 victory at Concordia Stadium on Sunday, bouncing back from their season-opening loss last Wednesday night versus McGill.

Even with the first win of the year in the books, head coach Clive Gibson was not too pleased with his team’s performance.

“We’re grateful for today’s win,” he said. “But we did not play good rugby. We need to tackle better, handle and catch the ball better, and improve on most fundamentals of the game.”

Nine minutes into the game, Concordia struck first when fullback Caleb Jordan burst down the field towards the try zone, only to be tripped up by a Gaiter back’s leg.

The play resulted in an automatic penalty try awarded to Concordia and a 5-0 lead.

Fly-half Joseph Fulginiti, who is usually a fullback, added two more points with the field goal conversion, putting the Stingers up 7-0 early.

Bishop’s struck back with a try, but failed on their conversion, yet would add two three-point field goals by half.

The Stingers only managed one more field goal by Fulginiti, giving the Gaiters a 11-10 lead at half.

Concordia would open up the game in the second half by trying to spread the ball across the field to their quicker backs, while the Gaiters continued to pound the rock with their bigger players.

After two early tries by Frederic Kacou and Yannick Fortin, along with two missed conversions, the Stingers had the lead once again at 20-11.

The Gaiters would add a try and a missed conversion of their own to bring the score to 20-16.

With eight minutes remaining in the match, Lucas Hotton scored for Concordia, and with the successful conversion, the Stingers were up 27-16.

Due to some poor tackling by the Stingers, the Gaiters responded with a try but missed their conversion.

With a lead of 27-21 and three minutes remaining, Fulginiti placed the nail in the coffin by earning a try and succeeded with his conversion, giving the Stingers the victory at 34-21.

Jordan, who had a marvelous day with many great runs, and a few try saving tackles, echoed his coach’s sentiments on the match.

“I would rate our team with a C-plus today,” he said. “We had some good moments, but made some bad mistakes at times.”

Fulginiti, the game’s most valuable player, felt his team should have used their speed more often during the game.

“We played into their strengths today and didn’t exploit their weaknesses enough, which would have made for an easier win, but definitely will try and improve on that next game,” he said.

The Stingers currently sit atop the Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec conference with a 1-1 record and six total points. They lost their season opener to McGill 20-17.

The team will hit the ground running in training this week to prepare for their upcoming match at Université de Sherbrooke this coming Sunday at 1 p.m.

The Stingers defeated the Vert et Or all three times they faced off last season.

Their most recent matchup came in last year’s semi-finals. The Stingers won that game 23-13 to reach the provincial championship game.

When asked what he would be focusing on with his players in practice, Gibson responded, “Teach[ing] them how to play rugby.”

“So long as we improve on our mistakes and stick together as a team we will be fine,” added Jordan.