Next Up, Laval

ConU Overcomes the Elements—and Hungry Martlets

Photos by Dylan Maloney

Concordia’s women’s rugby team is heading to the provincial finals after beating the McGill Martlets in the last game of the regular season Friday night in an 18-8 decision.

ConU led for much of the first half, relying on stellar defense to limit McGill from gaining any yardage. The team was displaying consistent defensive prowess, getting some key stops on McGill line-outs.

In the dying moments of the half, however, the Stingers saw their lead evaporate when Martlets centre Casey Thorburn found a clear path to the end-zone, leaving the game tied at halftime.

Team cohesion seemed even more evident at the beginning of the second, though, as the Stingers continued to steadily gain yards with each line-out.

The team received additional motivation from the reality that a loss meant not just the end of their season, but the end of some players’ tenures as Stingers, since the roster featured several fifth-years.

“It was the one night we came together best.” Stingers hooker Adara Borys

“The thought of not ever playing another game as a Stinger is a serious piece of motivation,” said Stingers lock Sarah Nesbitt. “I wanted my last home game to be a win.”

ConU successfully clamped down defensively in the second half, creating a McGill offensive drought. Capitalizing on the team’s cohesion and confidence, the Stingers successfully ran set pieces leading to a try.

They then managed to score an additional try, but with the lead still within McGill’s grasp, the conversion kick was crucial to stretching the lead so that the Martlets would need to make two tries in order to tie the game.

With the night’s windy conditions, however, both teams had suffered kicking problems all night long. Concordia centre Jackie Tittley chose to go with the riskier option, taking a drop kick rather than using the tee.

The kick was accurate, though, and the Stingers went up 18-8 and were able to cruise to a hard earned victory.

“It was the one night we came together best. I think it was the first time all season we played as a team and luckily it came at the end,” said Stingers hooker Adara Borys.

The Stingers are now a game away from the Canadian Interuniversity Sport nationals in Peterborough, ON. But before they can get there, they must go through the Laval Rouge et Or. They’ll get to do that this Saturday at Telus Stadium in Quebec City. Kickoff is at 1:00 p.m.