Photo by Marc Lafleur
Playoff rugby was in the air as the Ravens traveled to Concordia on Friday night for the RSEQ quarter-final. After an intense defensive battle, the Ravens secure a berth in the RSEQ semi-finals with a 7-0 win.
5th minute run by Lauryn Walker (Ottawa, Ont.) pushed the Ravens deep into Stingers territory only for Vanessa Chiappetta (Rigaud, Que.) to be held up by the Stingers. The Ravens would continue to carry much of the first fifteen minutes, blocking a kick and stealing several balls before the Stingers would find break out of the own half with a quick grubber.
A kicking matchup would ensue for much of the latter part of the half with both teams fending on big runs with solid defence before kicking for touch to relieve pressure. The Stingers team featured strength and size unlike anyone the Ravens had faced to date, but as the first half wore on the Ravens proved equal to the challenge. The two teams would battle for every inch of field positioning before reaching the halftime whistle scoreless.
Early in the second half, Walker would break through the Concordia defensive line, breaking a pair of would-be tackles for the first and only try of the night. Belleville’s Roberta Drummond would tack on the conversation to add to her 41 regular season points.
Under pressure late in the second half the Ravens defence was impressive, getting off the line quickly, attacking the Stingers and not allowing them to advance. After penalties pinned the Ravens down back toward their own touchline, strong defensive play saw the Ravens once again force the Stingers back towards half.
As the Ravens slowly pushed the Stingers back they took away both time and field positioning. As the clock reached extra time, Drummond would get two attempts at a penalty from about 30-yards out, missing only slightly while still managing to pin the Stingers deep in their end eventually securing the road victory.
For the Ravens the win marks only the second time ever that the team will advance to the RSEQ semi-finals. Asked about what this means for the program, head coach David Luong recognized the importance of the win. “This is obviously a huge win for us, especially with as young a program as us.” Coach Luong would add “The staff is really proud of the players and how far they’ve come. They’ll all bought into the program and it’s great to see them have success in it.”
The Ravens will now use the Fall Break to rest and prepare for a semi-final on Saturday at Laval.