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November 17, 2017 | Rugby (M)

Stingers take on the McMaster Marauders this afternoon.

Must-win game for men’s rugby at nationals

After losing 46-0 to the powerhouse UBC Thunderbirds at the inaugural Canadian University Men’s Rugby Championship yesterday, the Concordia Stingers will face the McMaster Marauders today at noon (OUA.tv) and must win to reach the medal round.

The Stingers are in a pool with UBC and McMaster. The top finisher will play in the gold medal game on Sunday. The second-place team will be in the bronze medal game. The last-place school will be eliminated.

The UBC Thunderbirds showed their strength early in the match versus the Stingers yesterday. They dominated in scrums and possession, while Concordia tried to hold off the Thunderbirds but had a difficult time stringing phases together. The Thunderbirds were up 20-0 at the half.

“It’s the work that goes in,” UBC head coach Rameses Langston said of his team’s dominance in scrums. “We put a lot of time and effort into coaching our guys the appropriate skills to be successful in that area. When you get complete buy-in from 15 guys, you see the results on the field.”

Concordia head coach Craig Beemer admits UBC was unlike any team his Stingers have faced this season.

“We haven’t had any competition like that this year,” he said. “Just playing today, even though it’s a quick turnaround, will help us. Our guys really started to compete defensively a lot better in the second half. We brought our tackle height down a lot. That really killed us in the first half.”

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