By Alexander Cole
A last minute try by Stingers winger Francois Yaccarini propelled the team to a 41-36 victory in their home-opener against the École de Technologie Supérieure (ETS) Piranhas on Sept. 25 at Concordia stadium.
“[The game-winning try] was just a play we worked on a lot in practice, and we executed it perfectly,” Yaccarini said. “We worked hard all game long and we just made a few mistakes in the end but it went well for us.”
The game started off well for the Stingers as they scored on an early penalty kick for a 3-0 lead. The Piranhas came back quickly with a try and a conversion to go ahead 7-3, but the Stingers used their speed and physicality to get the lead back.
Near the midpoint of the first half, the Stingers were up 19-7, however, the Piranhas kicked their offence into high gear and scored two straight tries to end the half for a 21-19 lead.
“We took some really dumb penalties,” Stingers head coach Craig Beemer said when describing his team’s first half performance. “The penalties led to seven points for ETS. We’re still learning.”
The second half started off poorly for the Stingers as the Piranhas scored a try just two minutes into the frame to give themselves a 26-19 lead.
Despite being down, the Stingers never gave up and came back with two tries to give themselves a 34-26 lead. The game continued to go back and forth for the majority of the half until, with 10 minutes left in the game, the Piranhas led a late game charge.
ETS started off with a try to bring the score to 34-33 in favor of the Stingers with just nine minutes left in the match. The Piranhas kept pressing and putting pressure on the young Stingers team and eventually forced Concordia to commit a penalty. The Piranhas took advantage and converted on the penalty, giving themselves a 36-34 lead going into injury time.
In the last minute of injury time, Yaccarini received a pass from his teammate on the outside and ran all the way down the field for the try, giving his team the win.
The victory was the team’s first of the season, and for Beemer it was a win that his team needed to get.
“It was really important. These guys have been working hard for a month,” Beemer said. “We’re going to have to grow every single game, and we deserved it today.”
The Stingers will look for their second win of the season against Université de Montréal Carabins on Oct. 2 at Concordia Stadium.