MONTREAL – Thomas Stokes, a veteran fullback from Vancouver, B.C., tallied 10 points, including the game-winning penalty goal to snap a tied score with less than 10 minutes left, fueling the McGill University men’s rugby team to a season-opening 20-17 victory at Concordia, Wednesday.
Despite the close score, McGill was in control for most of the game until the Stingers knotted the score at 17-17 on a Joey Fulginiti penalty-kick midway through the final half. The Redmen collected four points in the standings for the victory but Concordia secured a bonus point, which is awarded as an incentive to teams who lose by seven points or less.
Stokes, a six-foot, 168-pound political science senior, converted both McGill tries and added a pair of penalty goals to lead the Redmen. The McGill majors were touched down in the endzone by senior Estello Nap-Hill, a looming 6-foot-4, 225-pound centre from Richmond, B.C., and Theo Roussely, a marketing senior imported from Paris, France.
“The team played fairly well today, considering that it is still very early in the season,” said Ian Baillie, in his second year on the McGill coaching staff but his first as head coach. “We don’t really have our structure down yet and were kind of scrambling around a bit. Concordia put us under pressure a few times but we reacted fairly well defensively. When your structures start to fail a little, you end up in trouble but the guys recovered well from the (miscues) and we were able to get back on the right foot.”
Erik Samuel connected for the lone try for Concordia and Fulginiti the league’s player of the year last season, rounded out the scoring with a whopping four penalty goals.
Samuel and McGill’s Kaleb Nimat were selected by the opposing coaches as men of the match. Nimat and teammate Marc Webster each received yellow cards from the referee.
McGill (1-0) will make the short jaunt around Mt. Royal on Saturday (Sept. 20) to take on the Montreal Carabins (0-0) in a 3 p.m. start at Terrain Vincent d’Indy. Concordia (0-1) travels to Sherbrooke (0-1) on Sept. 21.
McGill University Athletics & Recreation
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|Concordia’s Dress Roster||Essai||Converti||Drop||Pénalité||PTS||MVP|
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