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November 21, 2018 | Rugby (M)

Photo by Jeff Chan

Stingers lose opener at men's rugby nationals

The University of British Columbia Thunderbirds downed the Concordia Stingers 41-8 to start off the six-team Canadian University Men's Rugby Championship in Victoria on Wednesday afternoon.

Concordia’s lone try in the game was scored by Nicolas Tronche. Elias Ergas led UBC with three tries, while William McDougall-Percilier had a try, four converts and a penalty kick.

“We expected them to bring a physical game plan today,” said Thunderbirds head coach Curry Hitchborn. “They have excellent coaches and some very talented athletes who have played representative rugby in the country. Our start today wasn’t great. We leaked a lot of yards around the breakdown and couldn’t find any continuity but we were able to adjust as the game went on.”

The Thunderbirds took advantage of an early penalty just outside the Concordia 22-metre line. McDougall-Percilier slotted the penalty kick to give the Vancouver side the early 3-0 lead. Less than a minute later, the Stingers answered with a try. The chip kick in behind the Thunderbirds’ back line was picked up by Tronche to give Concordia a 5-3 lead just five minutes into the match.

UBC roared back with four tries before halftime. Ergas touched down his first of two in the half when a Concordia pass hit the ground and he kicked it giving himself time to touch the ball down in the end goal. UBC No. 8 Nick Allen and McDougall-Percilier rounded out the scoring for UBC.

Stingers fly half Moritz Wittman kicked a drop goal to go with the single try of the half for Concordia. The Thunderbirds led 27-8 after the opening 30-minute half.

Fresh off the bench and on his first touch of the match, UBC centre John Jubenvill sliced through the Concordia backline to open the scoring in the second frame. Ergas scored his third try of the game in the 39th minute to give the T-Birds a 41-8 lead and eventual final score.

Concordia will need a win against the Guelph Gryphons on Friday if they want to compete for a medal on Sunday.

“We made a couple of key mistakes that helped put UBC up early,” said Stinger head coach Craig Beemer. “Overall, I was happy with the way we played. Once we let them go up on us early I think we got a bit down on ourselves. If we can carry over the way we played physically today I am confident in what we can do against Guelph.”

Ergas’s hat trick earned him player of the game honours for UBC, while Wittman was selected at the player. of the game for the Stingers.

SCORING SUMMARY

4’: UBC Penalty Kick - William McDougall-Percilier - 3-0 UBC

5’: CON Try- Nicolas Tronche (Convert Missed) - 5-3 CON

12’: UBC Try- Elias Ergas (Convert McDougall-Percilier) - 10-5 UBC

18’: UBC Try- Nick Allen (Convert Missed) - 15-5 UBC

22’: CON Drop Goal - Mortiz Wittman - 15-8 UBC

27’: UBC Try - Ergas (Convert Missed) - 20-8 UBC

30’: UBC Try - McDougall-Percilier (Convert McDougall-Percilier) - 27-8 UBC

HALFTIME 

34’: UBC Try - John Jubenvill (Convert McDougall-Percilier) - 34-8 UBC

39’: UBC Try - Elias Ergas (Convert McDougall-Percilier) - 41-8 UBC

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