Games of the Week
The men’s rugby team spent the weekend on the road, using the time away from home to hone their skills on the pitch, as well as to bond and gel as a team. The Stingers played their first exhibition game Friday night against the Royal Military College of Canada, ultimately falling 36-3 in what head coach Clive Gibson described as a one-sided affair.
“We had a rough start,” said Gibson, “We got completely dominated in the scrum, therefore we had to play defense all night. It was a courageous effort by the boys.
“Our defensive structure worked to the extent that it could, but clearly when you’re getting shoved around that badly in the front eight its tough. We got demoralized and the guys were taking penalties they shouldn’t be taking, so we ended up down two men at one point. It was a really tough game.”
Despite their struggles, the Stingers managed to battle through the adversity of the first game, and came back strong the next day, crushing the St. Lawrence College Vikings 52-12.
“That was a much better game,” said Gibson, “It was a fantastic effort by the boys, and it showed that they have learned the things that we’ve been teaching them. We didn’t prepare much for scrums, but that’s fixable; I’m more concerned that we didn’t get to test our attacking systems against the stronger of the two sides [RMC].
“It really was a terrific team-building experience for the boys, by far the best I’ve had in 10 years.
“They really came together—they learned what it was to suffer together, they learned what it was to pull themselves up and go out and pull together again as a team and make it happen after a massive loss.”
The women’s rugby team went on a road trip to Nova Scotia this weekend in preparation for their season-opening game against the Université de Sherbrooke on Sept. 7 at Concordia Stadium.
The Stingers started off their three-game weekend with an early morning match against St. Francis-Xavier in Truro, NS, at the Nova Scotia Agricultural College.
Concordia suffered a lopsided defeat, falling 58-7. It should be noted, however, that this game featured the Stinger “B squad,” which is made up mostly of reserves.
In their second game of the day, the Stingers faced the Acadia Axewomen, and this time the result was much more favourable for Concordia. Led by head coach Graeme McGravie, the Stingers won 29-12 against the Axewomen to even up their exhibition record at 1-1.
On Sunday, however, Concordia played the final game of their preseason. The Stingers faced St. Francis-Xavier for the second day in a row and were subsequently crushed for the second consecutive game, this time falling 55-14.
Concordia’s baseball team opened their season on a sour note on Sunday, dropping both games of a doubleheader to the Carleton University Ravens.
GAME 1 – CONCORDIA 3, CARLETON 5
“I don’t think there was much gas there to begin with,” said Stingers head coach Howard Schwartz of their performance.
The first game got off to a promising start for the Stingers. They opened up with a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning, but things took a turn for the worse in the third when Concordia shortstop Mark Nadler collided with left-fielder Kevin Shelton.
Schwartz blames the error on lack of team chemistry.
“The team’s been together for only two or three days, and you could take the New York Yankees and put them together the second day of the season and they’d play like this.”
The error allowed Carleton to tie the game, forcing extra innings, where they got to Stingers pitcher Brandon Bercovits with two additional runs to take the victory.
GAME 2 – CONCORDIA 3, CARLETON 6
In the second game of the afternoon, the Stingers struggled to get on base. Carleton starting pitcher Kelly Newcombe was on fire, striking out nearly every Concordia player who came up to bat. When the Stingers did manage to make contact, they were met by a solid Carleton defense.
The Ravens had no problem at the plate, hitting several triples and stealing bases at will, impressing Carleton head coach Rick Young.
“For the first two games of the season we did pretty well,” he said.
The Stingers bench believed this loss was because of a lack confidence following the first game’s defeat.
“We were down on ourselves after the first game, so that definitely affected us,” said Nadler.
“It wasn’t our best day out there today,” admitted Stingers pitcher Alex Pawulski.
The game wasn’t a total loss for the Stingers. In the bottom of the seventh, they took advantage of a tired Newcombe, scoring two doubles and three runs off him to kill his shutout bid, but by then the game was already out of reach.
While this wasn’t the kind of start Schwartz was looking for, he was pleased with his players’ enthusiasm.
“They’re already yelling at me to make sure we have practice time. They want to go two to three practices a week,” he said.
The Stingers play the McGill Redbirds this Friday night at Pierre Elliott Trudeau Park, in Côte St. Luc. Game time is at 7:30 p.m.