On Oct. 19, the McGill Redmen (4-1) faced off against the Concordia Stingers (5-0) at Molson Stadium. Both teams entered the arena undefeated: Deadlocked in a tie for first place in the RSEQ and playing for sole possession of the top slot in the conference. McGill was slow to start, and their valiant second half effort was ultimately insufficient, falling to Concordia by a score of 22-15.
The Stingers opened up the game with a quick 12-0 lead. However, McGill battled back: Third-year hooker Alex Pantis wrangled a try for the Redmen, ending their dry spell. Throughout the half, tensions spilled out onto the field, resulting in penalties for both sides. Ultimately, the penalties cost McGill points, which came back to haunt the Redmen later in the game. The Stingers closed out the first half with a comfortable 19-5 lead.
After halftime, a determined McGill team took the field. First-year fly-half Owen Cumming and third-year flanker Pierre Grison helped drive McGill’s offence, each picking up a try in the half. The Redmen played phenomenal defence, too, giving up only six points to the Stingers in the final half. Despite their efforts, the Redmen couldn’t take advantage of the offensive and defensive surge, and the Stingers took home the victory by a 22-15 score.
“I thought we played very well in the second half,” Redmen Head Coach Ian Baillie said. “[We] took too many penalties. That cost us the game, but we moved the ball. We scored some really nice tries, and we looked good out there.”
McGill will be looking to bounce back from their loss in their upcoming game against the Sherbrooke Vert et Or (3-2) at Stade de L’Université in Sherbrooke on Oct. 28. This will be their last game of the season before the playoffs begin in November.
“We can use this game [against Sherbrooke] as a really good opportunity to come back from this game [against Concordia],” Pantis said.
Overall, the Redmen remain positive and are focused on their upcoming match and the playoffs.
“I think we’re going to go far,” Grison said. “We’re going to put in the work to achieve what we want to achieve, which is to win.”
Moment of the game
In the closing minutes of the game, the Redmen secured possession and Grison barrelled past defenders to ring in one last try for McGill.
McGill held Concordia to 22 points, Concordia’s lowest offensive total this season.
“When we play our game, like we saw in the second half, it’s something else. We’ve just got to stick to our game.” – Fly-half Owen Cumming