Stingers’ Men’s Rugby Scorch Gee-Gees in Winter-Like Weather

oncordia Finishes at the Top of the Table for a Second Year in a Row

  • The Stingers men’s rugby team was a dominant force in their final regular season game on Friday night. Photo Elisa Barbier

  • Cold conditions and wet weather made it difficult for both sides to keep control of the ball. Photo Elisa Barbier

  • With this win in hand, the Stingers sit at the top of the RSEQ standings and will host an RSEQ semi final matchup next Saturday. It has yet to be determined who they will face. Photo Elisa Barbier

In horrendous weather, Concordia’s men’s rugby squad put on a show with a triumphant win over the University of Ottawa Gee-Gees with a final score of 52-3.

“We didn’t know it was gonna snow, so we didn’t prepare for it,” said head coach Craig Beemer. He mentioned that he was satisfied with the team’s effort in the win.

“Even if they were faking it,” said Beemer. “They did a real good job at being excited. It’s not something rugby players face too often.”

Obviously, the weather was not just a challenge on the field. As the game went on, it became a problem for players on the sideline as well.

“We have coats,” said second-year prop Julian Alexander. “A lot of jumping jacks, sit ups, running. The usual stuff. I came up in the 55th minute and started to freeze off right away.”

Despite the cold and limited playing time, Alexander took over the game when he entered, scoring two tries and securing the game’s Most Valuable Player honours.

“It was good,” he said. “They were off pick and go. It’s part of it, you have to play the conditions. You just want to keep moving the ball forward.”

The Stingers allowed just 44 points against in this regular season, the lowest total since McGill allowed only 34 in 2011. Photo Elisa Barbier

The strenuous conditions called for a change in the Stingers’ gameplan.

“There was no chance we were going to make fancy plays,” said second-year fly-half Moritz Wittman. “We were just gonna kick in the corner and put their guys under pressure.”

As Concordia outclassed their opponents on the scoreboard, they did the same with physical play on the pitch.

“I think we are a physical team, especially the forwards,” said Alexander. “It showed in the scrums today too. It was definitely another advantage for us.”

This victory marked the final regular season game for the men’s squad. They concluded their Réseau du Sport Étudiant du Québec regular season action with a perfect record for a second year in a row.

“You’re not gonna say anything leading into the season,” said Beemer. “But it was obviously one of our goals.”

He also said that since a lot of last year’s players were back, their main goal for this season was to improve their defence, something his veterans seemed to have taken to heart.

“Intensity and line speed,” said Wittman. “You have to get in the attacker’s face and make sure that he has no time to play. That’s a big difference this year. We take a lot of pride in our defence.”

The changes have clearly paid of as Concordia have the lowest amount of points allowed to opposing teams this season. The Stingers have allowed a total of just 44 points against throughout this season.

This is the lowest total in the RSEQ since 2011, when McGill allowed just 34 points against during the regular season.

The progression of the squad comes as no surprise, as veterans like Wittman and Lucas Hotton were back to lead the team this season.

The reigning provincial champions will look to defend their title in the coming weeks. They will be joined in the playoffs by McGill, Sherbrooke, and Bishop’s ahead of the RSEQ championship semi-final next weekend.

“Sherbrooke improved throughout the season,” said coach Beemer. “We’ll definitely watch some film and see what they have developed, because we played on the first game of the season.”

Beemer is confident that his team has put in the necessary work to go all the way once again, and have another shot at the national title.

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