Members of the University of Victoria men’s sevens rugby team celebrate their victory in the Canadian Inter-University Sport national championships Saturday at Westhills Stadium in Langford. The Vikes beat the UBC Thunderbirds 17-12 with a last-second try from Doug Fraser.

Vikes capture men’s sevens rugby crown in Langford

Westhills crowds see local teams in men's, women's championship games

The University of Victoria Vikes men’s sevens are  national university champions for a second year in a row. The Vikes prevailed over the UBC Thunderbirds in a rematch of last year’s final with a closely contested 17-12 win on Saturday at Westhills Stadium in Langford.

With the score knotted at 12-12 late in the game, the Vikes Doug Fraser scored the game-winning try as the clock wound down to the final seconds following an impressive drive down the pitch.

Lucas Hammond, a regular on the Canadian national team, cut through the middle of the pack and drew defenders before dumping the ball off to Fraser.

Fraser’s winning try was his second of the match and made up in fine fashion for a yellow card he drew early in the first half which set up the opening try of the game, scored by UBC’s Jorden Best. That gave UBC a 7-0 lead and marked the first points UVic allowed in the tournament.

The Vikes answered with a little more than three minutes left in the first half on a great effort by Luke McCloskey. He managed to power his way down the right wing to the line to set up a try, despite injuring his hamstring along the way.

A second yellow card to the Vikes  for an intentional knock on put Victoria down a man for a second time. The Thunderbirds took full advantage, with Charlie Thorpe cutting his way through the Vikes defenders to even the score, setting the stage for Fraser’s late-game heroics.

Victoria won five games in a row on the way to the final, including a 34-0 shutout of Queen’s University in the semi-final. The Vikes dominated all opponents by a score of 227-0 heading into the final.

The Thunderbirds narrowly defeated the UVic Norsemen 24-21 in their semi-final.

UVic’s women sevens Vikes made it to Saturday’s championship final, but lost 31-5 to the defending champion McMaster University Marauders.

The Marauders were in control from the outset, scoring early and often to knock off the hometown Vikes side in impressive fashion.

Laura Crowe-Hutchon gave the Vikes their only points of the match, taking the ball from inside her own half and outrunning an opponent down the right flank to make it 17-5 McMaster at the break.

UVic secured its spot in the big game with a 12-7 semifinal victory over mainland rival UBC. The Vikes Blue side finished the tournament with a 4-2 record.

news@goldstreamgazette.com

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