The UVic Vikes men are the national university rugby sevens champions for the third year in a arow. 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.
Since it started in 2011, the Vikes have won the national trophy four times – McMaster University won it in 2012.
With the score knotted at 12-12 late in Saturday’s final, the Vikes Doug Fraser scored the game-winning try with the clock winding down to the final seconds. It ended a series of phases by the Vikes to drive the ball down the pitch.
Lucas Hammond, a former Canadian U20 player, 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 St. Michaels University grad 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 semifinal. The Vikes dominated all opponents by a score of 227-0.
The Vikes entered to women’s teams, with it’s Blue squad qualifying for championship final only to lose 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.
The Vikes Yellow team won the consolation shield trophy.
Vikes runner Rachel Francois aims for gold
UVic Vikes track runner Rachel Francois looks to win a fourth-straight gold in the 600-metre as the Vikes compete at the CIS Track and Field Championship, Mar. 12-14 at St. Denis Centre in Windsor, Ont.
Vike Chris McLaughlin named Can West POTY, shortlisted for national POTY
UVic Vikes fifth-year forward Chris McLaughlin was one of five players shortlisted for the CIS player of the year award, which was given to Johnny Berhanemeskel, a fifth-year guard from the University of Ottawa.
McLaughlin is the Canada West outstanding player of the year.