Men’s Rugby: Stingers Settle For Stalemate
Stingers Tie Redmen To Keep Pace in Standings
In a game Stingers men’s rugby head coach Clive Gibson described as as his team’s best game in four years, the Stingers managed to retain second place in the Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec standings with a 17-17 draw against the McGill Redmen at Percival Molson Stadium this past Friday night.
“I would have liked to get the win because I think we earned it, but the boys finally started playing the rugby I know they can play,” said Gibson after the game.
Concordia had a great start as it only took four minutes for flanker Lucas Hotton to burst through the Redmen backs and score the first try of the game, but the rest of the first half did not go as well as the game was almost constantly played in their own territory.
The Maroon and Gold gave two penalties to McGill, and one of them was converted, cutting the lead to two points. Then, following a scrum awarded to McGill at the 25th minute, McGill responded with a try and a conversion which gave them a 10-5 lead.
In the final minutes of the first half, Concordia was given the opportunity to capitalize on McGill’s mistakes to gain back some ground. A first penalty was awarded to the Stingers, but fly-half Joey Fulginiti missed the kick. In the final minute of the first half, another penalty was awarded and Fulginiti made up for his mistake to bring Stingers’ deficit to only two points at the half.
At the start of the second half, Fulginiti converted a penalty in the 46th minute to retake the lead. A few minutes later, the current RSEQ points leader converted yet another McGill penalty to give Concordia a 14-10 lead.
Soon after, the Redmen began to take advantage of Concordia’s mistakes. Scrums given at the 57th and 59th minute allowed McGill to gain ground, and following a lineout at the 61st minute, the Redmen managed to earn a try. The completed conversion gave them a 17-14 lead. Concordia had 20 minutes to shift the game and get a result.
A badly executed McGill scrum in the 63rd minute caught the Redmen off guard and granted Concordia a boost in momentum. A McGill penalty lead to a lineout deep inside the Redmen zone. Then, an offensive push drove McGill to commit a penalty at the 70th minute, which was once again converted by Fulginiti to tie the game up at 17.
The last ten minutes of the game was marked by Concordia’s will to win. They jostled to score again but mistakes cost them possessions as scrums and penalties were awarded four times in the last ten minutes.
“I’ll take the tie because it’ll be good for us in the standings, but we just made a couple of mistakes which cost us penalties,” added Gibson.
The Stingers’ next game will be Sunday, Oct. 19th at home against fourth-place Université de Sherbrooke. This will be an opportunity for Concordia to get valuable points going into the following week where they will clash with first-place Bishop’s on Friday, Oct. 24th for the top spot of the RSEQ standings.
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