The University of Victoria Vikes fell at the last hurdle in the Canadian university men’s rugby championships Sunday (Nov. 28), losing 39-7 to UBC in the final on a snowy day in Kingston, Ont.
The Vikes reached the gold medal match with a 29-22 win over the Guelph Gryphons on Friday, following a record-setting 72-0 opening game victory over Dalhousie on Nov. 24.
In the final the Thunderbirds broke out to an early lead, scoring a try in the third minute and adding a penalty goal late in the half to take an 8-0 lead into the dressing room. It was an unusual situation for the Vikes, who had not previously trailed a match during the tournament.
The Vikes closed the gap in the 44th minute when team captain Jonas Robinson went over for a try. The convert made it 20-7 and UVic was showing potential for a comeback. But those hopes were quickly dashed when UBC scored a converted try six minutes later, making the score 27-7.
UVic could not recover and UBC broke away further, scoring two more tries to seal the victory and their third national championship.
Since the inception of the tournament in 2017, the Vikes have appeared in the gold medal match every season.
UVic’s win over Dalhousie set a record for the highest opening-game point total by one team at the tournament, besting UBC, who beat Royal Military College 66-0 to open this year’s tournament.