Stingers Take Care of Sherbrooke
Men’s Rugby Wins, Regulars Get Rest
An outmatched Université de Sherbrooke Vert et Or side was shut out 32-0 by the superior Concordia Stingers in men’s rugby last Friday at Concordia Stadium.
“A win is a win, [but] we can’t take too much out of this game as far as celebrations go,” said first-year coach Shane Thomas.
With key starters like Edward McGregor and David Biddle given a rest against the weaker Sherbrooke side, the coaching staff was able to give some other players a chance to start.
Dynamic prop-forward Jimmy Bang skippered the squad and led a pack of hungry Stingers. “A lot of people had something to prove to themselves and to the coaches,” he said.
With the game being played under wet skies, Bang and the rest of the forwards clashed with a group of Sherbrooke players who made Concordia earn yards the hard way.
ConU started strongly and bullied their way down field. Fly-half Xavier Birot notched the first three of his 12 points on the night.
The first half saw strong play up front for both teams, with Sherbrooke possibly getting the edge on set pieces, challenging the Stingers both at line out and against the head. However, dynamic running led by inside centre Dario Pellizzari led to the first try of the match by Birot, who then missed the conversion kick.
Following a strong pack effort, Bang touched the ball down for the game’s second try. The remaining first half saw both teams lose their structure. Replacement tighthead prop Sean McDonough literally ran over a member of the Sherbrooke backline.
Coach Thomas called the tackle “one of the biggest hits [he’s] seen in Quebec rugby this year.”
A late surge by ConU resulted in another try resulting from forward play, with number eight Paul Bouet placing the ball under the uprights. The conversion was good, leaving the Stingers ahead 22-0 at halftime.
The rain set in by the start of the second half, and the few remaining supports ran for cover. The slippery conditions meant that the backs were effectively spectators for the much of the second half—the ball stayed tight to the forwards.
The Stingers were able to add one more try, a cooperative effort that back-row substitute Theo “Doug” Gardner finished off.
Sherbrooke gained full marks for bravery, fighting for every last possession, including a daring kick at goal from 40 metres out that came up just short. But in the end, the better team on paper and on the field came away with the win.
Concordia will have their big guns rested for next week’s matchup against Bishop’s, where they are sure to be greeted by a vocal crowd of Gaiter faithful. The game takes place Oct.1 at 8:00 p.m.
This article originally appeared in The Link Volume 31, Issue 07, published September 28, 2010.
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