Stingers 36, Redmen 18: Stingers Men’s Rugby Stun Rivals McGill
Concordia Moves on to RSEQ Final After Win Over Redmen
Tensions were high at Concordia Stadium as the undefeated Stingers’ men’s rugby team faced off against the McGill Redmen in the Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec semifinal on Friday evening.
The Stingers held a 7-0 record during the regular season, a sharp shift from last year’s dreadful 1-6 tally.
“It was a bit of a whirlwind last season, everything was last minute, last second,” said Concordia head coach Craig Beemer.
Their success earned the team a direct trip to the RSEQ semifinal.
McGill, who the Stingers confronted two other times this season, has always kept the score close in matchups against the maroon and gold, and it was definitely the case Friday night.
Two early penalty calls against the Stingers gave McGill two penalty kicks, both of which they capitalized on. That put the Redman up 6-0 just ten minutes into the first half.
Concordia returned the favour just minutes later, cutting McGill’s lead to 6-3.
The game was tight throughout the first half, each team spending equal amounts of time in their opponent’s offensive zone. It wasn’t until 25 minutes into the game that the first try was scored.
Concordia’s Stephen Martinez managed to make his way into McGill’s try zone, earning the team five points, which would then become seven points after a successful conversion kick by Jonathan Banks.
With just over two minutes remaining in the first half, a McGill player earned himself a yellow card. Concordia took advantage of the situation, as Nico Krawczyk scored the Stingers’ second try of the night. The Stingers went into half-time up 15-6.
Opening up the score in the second half was Concordia’s Sebastian Iaricci, with a try nine minutes in. Banks made the conversion, pushing the score to 22-6 in favour of the Stingers.
The good vibes didn’t last forever though. McGill retaliated with a try and a conversion just five minutes later.
From there the Stingers managed to hold their opponent out of the try zone, resulting in a 36-18 victory over McGill. This victory meant a lot to the Stingers, who have turned it around since last season.
“We had a whole winter training to prepare, a whole year of recruiting, and the guys came prepared to work,” said Beemer “It’s 100 per cent on the guys.”
Beemer expressed pride in the way the team has been able to turn it around since last year, attributing their recent success to the leadership, discipline and motivation shown by the players. That pride was also felt amongst members of his team.
“[The effort] was huge,” said veteran Stinger Moritz Wittman of the win.
“Everyone put in a lot of work, and last season was probably one of the worst seasons in our history,” said Beemer. “To come back and get to the finals [this] season, that took a lot of hard work and a lot of grind, so I think the boys are very happy with what they’ve done.”
Coming off the high of this victory, the Stingers are set to face off against the École de Technologie Supérieure Piranhas in the RSEQ Championship game, Sunday Nov. 12, at Concordia Stadium.