The Concordia Stingers men's rugby team defeated the Guelph Gryphons 19-5 on Friday securing a spot in the bronze medal game at the Canadian university national championship in Victoria.
Concordia will battle the host Victoria Vikes on Sunday at 2 p.m. EST. This will be the first time the Stingers play for a medal at the national championship. With an 0-2 win-loss record at the 2017 tournament, Concordia was eliminated from medal contention.
“The thing I saw from our guys today was belief, belief that we belong here with the top teams in the country,” said Stinger head coach Craig Beemer. “Guelph is a great side and play in a tough league, so we expected a battle from them today and that is what we got.”
There was no scoring in the early part of the game, but the Stingers broke open the match when captain Lucas Hotton plunged over the line in the 15th minute.
The game remained tight between the two sides until the 28th minute when Gryphon flanker Marcello made a dash down the sidelines into the end zone for the first Guelph score. The Gryphons missed the conversion, giving Concordia a 7-5 lead at halftime.
Stingers Moritz Wittmann and Malcolm Baird scored the only two tries in the second half. Wittmann spotted space on the short side of a ruck inside the Gryphons’ 5-metre line and jogged in for an easy score, while Baird powered his over the line after Guelph made a great defensive stand for several phases.
The win gives Concordia a 1-1 record in the preliminary round. With a win over the UNB Ironmen and a loss to the Queen’s Gaels, the Vikes also post a 1-1 record.
The game will be streamed on Facebook - http://facebook.com/rugbycanada
Game MVPS - Lucas Hotton, Concordia; Matt Van Camp, Guelph
37’: CON Try - Malcolm Baird (Convert Missed) - 12-5 CON
50': CON Try - Moritz Wittmann (Convert Jonathan Banks) - 19-5 CON