Late Conversion Makes Difference

Women’s Rugby Team Edges Out Rouge et Or

The Stingers had to squeeze a victory out of Laval on Sunday. Photo Esther Bernard

Concordia 10
Laval 9

The women’s rugby team pulled out an exciting finish to beat the perennial powerhouse Université de Laval team 10-9 on Friday at Loyola Campus.

“It was another Concordia [versus] Laval classic,” said Rouge et Or coach Bill McNeil.

Laval came into the game riding high after posting cricket scores in its first two games, outscoring its opponents a combined 198-0.

By keeping the ball in tight to the forwards for much of the game, the Stingers were able to neutralize Laval’s all-star backline, including Claudianne Renault, who recently attended a U-19 camp for Team Canada hopefuls.

“If the game [opens up], we are dangerous, and they know that,” said Laval coach McNeil.

Stingers head coach Graeme McGravie said his team won by sticking to the gameplan.

“We wanted to play that New York Giants style of eating up the clock and moving it down the field,” he said.

The first half saw both teams trading penalty kicks with neither side willing to take over the game, and a defensive battle ensued. As the teams hit the locker-room, the score was tied at 3-3.

The second half saw the Stingers give up a fair number of penalties. Laval’s talented kicker, Renault, made Concordia pay for their lack of discipline, adding six points by kicking it through the uprights twice.

With the Stingers down and on a rushing attack led by veteran Jackie Tittley, Laval was penalized deep in its own end. Instead of going for points, however, ConU kicked for position and kept the drive going.

“At 9-3 for our team to go for the try instead of penalty kicks showed a lot of character,” said coach McGavie.

After being rebuffed three times by strong defensive play from Laval, tighthead prop Lisa Hoffman barged over the try line to leave the Stingers trailing 9-8. Tittley continued her consistent performance by kicking the conversion to take the lead 10-9 with only eight minutes left in the game.

However, the Rouge et Or never gave up and presented the Stingers’ fans with a few late scares. The referee’s whistle saved Concordia a few times with key penalties against Laval. Both coaches credited Tittley’s desperate kick from the corner of her own end in securing the eventual win.
“Jackie made a monstrous kick from the sidelines. That was crucial,” said McGravie.

Next, the women take on the Bishop’s University Gaiters as they travel to Lennoxville, Sept. 24 for an 8:00 p.m. start.

This article originally appeared in Volume 31, Issue 06, published September 21, 2010.