Queen’s topples Concordia in first round of Men’s Rugby Nationals

Gaels sting the Stingers 38-22, set to face first-ranked UBC on Friday

The Gaels celebrating a gained possession during Wednesday's game.
Photo: 
The Men’s Rugby Team returned to play on Wednesday evening, coming away with a 38-22 win over the Concordia Stingers in the first round of the Canadian University Men’s Rugby Championship.
 
With the victory, the Gaels head into the tournament’s winning bracket and are set to face off against the UBC Thunderbirds on Friday evening.
 
Head coach, David Butcher, spoke to The Journal post-game about his thoughts on the match.
 
“We knew Concordia would be really good. They’re very intense, they have great line speed, so we didn’t expect anything less from them,” he said.
 
True to Butcher’s word, the Stingers were a hard-fought team and gave the Gaels reason to be focused. At the call for halftime, Queen’s was up just two points, 14-12. 
 
Coming off a loss in the OUA championship on Nov. 6 against Guelph, Butcher believes the team’s play in the first half was reflective of the pressure they put on themselves to come out on top after an uncharacteristic loss.
 
“I think we were a little bit nervous,” he remarked.
 
“But then we went, started going through all the phases [in the second half], I thought we looked really good and I thought the boys bounced back really well.”.
 
After play resumed, the Gaels inhabited a more aggressive posture and proceeded to outscore the Stingers 24-10 throughout the game’s second half—ultimately securing a win that will place them in contest with the nationally ranked number one UBC Thunderbirds on Friday.
 
Musing on the prospect of facing a bona fide contender, Butcher mentioned that as therank-based underdogs, Queen’s is nonetheless looking forward to playing such an accomplished team.
 
"UBC have got to be the favourites. They’re a very, very good team. Huge pack. Play very confrontational rugby,” he said.
 
“I think we’ll look at our game, put a couple of tweaks in, but I think it’ll be a great game of Rugby.”

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