Concordia's Thursday Report

Vol. 29, No.14

April 21, 2005


Stingers roundup

By John Austen

Wednesday, April 20, proved to be quite the day for top-notch athletics at Concordia's Loyola campus. The Montreal Impact, defending champions of the United Soccer League's First Division, took on the Stingers men's team in the morning, while the National under-23 rugby team took on the Quebec University All-Stars in an evening match.

The university All-Stars feature the best rugby players from McGill, Bishop's and Concordia. The national under-23 team, which goes by the name Pacific Pride and is based in Victoria, B.C., is in Eastern Canada for two weeks of matches and clinics in Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto.

The Pride's coaches and players put on a rugby clinic last Monday geared towards high school players.

McGill head coach Sean McCaffrey is the head coach of the Quebec side. The Redmen are two-time defending Quebec champions. He was assisted by Concordia head coach Graeme McGravie and Charles Goode, an assistant coach at Bishop's.

Top university players include: scrum half Tim McEwen, a native of Ste. Anne de Bellevue and a member of the Concordia Stingers. Etienne Bouchard was the starting fullback. This Montrealer has tremendous tackling ability.

Other top players included McGill flyhalf Matt de Graff, a Beaconsfield native who is the Quebec university all-star kicker; and Bishop's prop Matt Taylor, from Oakville, Ont.

Pride players included winger Scott Gill, a former Concordia Stinger and native of Beaconsfield; as well as Bishop's Matt Phinney, a flanker from Toronto.

Since its inception in 1996, the National Rugby Centre Pride program has exposed 120 of Canada's top young rugby players to elite standards of competition, coaching, fitness training and personal development in an intensive two-year residential setting. The program is recognized for raising the level of the league and community game in Canada and developing more than 50 players for the national 15s and 7s teams.