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Stingers rugby sets its sights on the playoffs

The men's and women's teams compete in their last home games this week, including Concordia's Kelly-Anne Drummond memorial
October 13, 2015
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By Tom Peacock

Frédérique Rajotte (pictured), centre for the Concordia Stingers women’s rugby team, has been selected to play for Team Canada. Frédérique Rajotte (pictured), centre for the Concordia Stingers women’s rugby team, has been selected to play for Team Canada. | Photos by Brianna Thicke

The men’s Rugby World Cup is in full swing, with the pool stages wrapping up this past weekend. Meanwhile, closer to home Concordia’s own rugby teams are heading into the season's final stretch, with both in playoff contention.

The men’s team has managed two wins and three losses so far, including a 21-15 victory against Université de Sherbrooke on October 4. The Stingers will face Sherbrooke again this Friday, October 16, at 7 p.m. at Concordia Stadium, in their last regular-season home game.

Last November, the men's rugby team beat McGill to win the Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec (RSEQ) Championship for the first time since 2005. 

National-level quality

Head down to Concordia Stadium tonight (Tuesday, October 13) at 7 p.m. to catch the Stingers women’s rugby team in action during the annual Kelly-Anne Drummond Cup and you’ll get the chance to see national-level players in action.

Third-year Stingers Alexandra Tessier and Frédérique Rajotte have both been invited to play for Team Canada in a two-game series against England at the end of November. Tessier already represented Canada in the Women’s Rugby Super Series last summer.

Third-year Stingers Alexandra Tessier represented Canada in the Women’s Rugby Super Series last summer. Third-year Stingers Alexandra Tessier represented Canada in the Women’s Rugby Super Series last summer.

“Those two are pretty dangerous out there,” says Graeme McGravie, head coach of Concordia’s women’s rugby team.

The numbers speak for themselves.

Concordia's record so far this season is five wins and one loss. On October 4, Tessier scored 36 points in the Stingers’ 81-5 trouncing of Sherbrooke. 

For her part, Rajotte collected eight tries in the Stingers’ two first games of the season — three during the team’s 57-3 win over Carleton and five when they beat Bishop’s 80-7 on September 13. The 21-year-old Communications student was also named game MVP in Concordia’s 29-14 victory over McGill on September 16.

“They just seem to be really clicking and playing well together,” says McGravie of his two star centres. “The girls have all been working hard, but it's always good when you have Wayne Gretzky and Mark Messier on your team.”

Andreas Krawczyk The Stingers men's rugby team will face Université de Sherbrooke this Friday evening, October 16, at 7 p.m. at Concordia Stadium.

Remembering a fallen Stinger

The Kelly-Anne Drummond Cup is played in honour of the former member of the women’s rugby team, who played with the Stingers from 1999 to 2001. She died on October 4, 2004. Her boyfriend was found guilty of her murder in April 2006.

The game has been held every year since 2005, keeping her memory alive in the tight-knit rugby community. “Like a lot of girls on the team, Kelly-Anne was from the West Island, she went to John Abbott, and she came to play at Concordia,” McGravie says. “She was your prototypical student athlete. The girls need to know she was an important part of what happens here and that her life wasn't in vain.”

McGravie says the annual memorial match-up is an important chance to raise awareness around the issue of violence against women. “Hopefully it gets someone to realize they are strong enough to facilitate change."

This year’s edition is the first time Concordia won’t be playing McGill for the cup. Instead they’ll face the Université de Montréal Carabins. During the game, Stingers athletes will be collecting donations for Women AWARE, an organization supported by Drummond’s parents that offers long-term support to victims of domestic violence.

 

Catch the Stingers women’s rugby team in action during the annual Kelly-Anne Drummond Cup at Concordia Stadium on Tuesday, October 13, at 7 p.m. against the Université de Montréal Carabins.

On Friday, October 16, at 7 p.m. watch the men’s rugby team play their second-to-last game of the regular season against Sherbrooke at the Concordia Stadium.

Find out more about upcoming Stingers sports events

 



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