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November 17, 2017 | Rugby (M)

Stingers eliminated at university rugby championship

On the second day of the inaugural Canadian University Men’s Rugby Championship in Guelph, Ont., the Concordia Stingers were defeated 38-11 by the McMaster Marauders and eliminated from the medal round of the competition.

The Stingers lost 46-0 to the UBC Thunderbirds the previous day and finish in last place in their three-team pool. UBC and McMaster meet tomorrow with the winner advancing to the gold medal game and the loser going for bronze on Sunday.

Concordia head coach Craig Beemer was positive about his side’s experience and says the defending RSEQ champions now have a new goal.

“Going into next year, we will have something bigger to go for,” he said. “Even if we win our conference, we still have to go to war against some big and talented teams after that.”

In Friday’s game, McMaster dominated possession early and was solid up front throughout the match, while Concordia squandered many opportunities, unable to string together any momentum.

“We started out a little sloppy and made a few mistakes in the first 10 minutes,” said Marauders’ head coach Dan Pletch. “I think the guys were just nervous playing in their first national championship. And Concordia played well. They put us under some pressure.”

McMaster fly half Will Redgate and centre Kevin Perera scored first-half tries for McMaster, while hooker Jack McRogers, wing Callum Mcleay, and fly half Graham Dobbs each had a try in the second half for the OUA bronze medallists. Fly half William Kelly was also good on three penalty kicks and two converts.

Eight man Lucas Hotton scored Concordia’s lone try, while fullback Jonathan Banks had two penalty kicks.

Beemer said he knew that the sheer size of his Stingers’ opponents would be an issue at the event.

“We played a lot of defence and didn’t have much ball throughout the tournament,” he said. “We weren’t ready for the physicality that the Ontario and BC teams brought. It was definitely eye opening for us. In the end, it will be a good learning experience. We have a whole year to get bigger, stronger faster. We know that if we’re fortunate enough to win our conference again and go to another national championship, we’ll have to be prepared physically.”