By Braedan Willis, Vikes Communications
[ONLINE STORY ]
The University of Victoria Vikes men’s rugby team held a 19-12 lead over the UBC Thunderbirds at halftime but were unable to contain the T-birds in the second half. The Vikes conceded 33 points in the second half in what turned out to be a 45-26 loss at home on Oct. 20 at Wallace Field.
The UBC victory earned the Thunderbirds two more points in the Legends Cup series against Victoria. The loss drops the Vikes to a 1-3 record in the BC Premiership league standings.
“Our scrumming struggled today which resulted in a lot of possession for UBC,” said Vikes head coach Doug Tate. “We took too many penalties off our scrums which gave the territorial advantage to UBC and they were able to capitalize.”
The Thunderbirds struck first in this Legends Cup match, scoring in the corner to give them the early 5-0 lead. Shortly after, newcomer Isaac Kaay forced a turnover deep in UBC territory but Bowd wasn’t able to slot the penalty kick, keeping the score 5-0 in favour of the T-birds.
In the 18thminute, a Vikes’ cross kick landed perfectly allowing winger Kapi Vataiki to put the first five points up on the board for Victoria.
Kaay made his presence felt in the 27thminute, the national team back evaded two UBC defenders with back-to-back fake passes to open enough space to run the full length of the field for the second Vikes score of the game.
“He has been a huge addition to our team,” commented Tate. “the international experience he has combined with his physicality and overall skill makes him such a dangerous player on the field at any point in a game.”
Thunderbirds outside centre Ben Lesage, who also has national team experience, answered back quickly for UBC scoring off a set piece to tie the game up at 12-12.
Vikes prop Gui Costa powered his way over the goal line late in the first half to restore the Vikes seven-point lead heading into the break.
The Thunderbirds came out firing in the second half scoring a try early before scoring two more in the 60thand 63rdminutes to take a 31-19 lead over the Vikes.
Ollie Nott would break the UBC line in the 67thminute to set up Kaay for his second try of the match, pulling the Vikes back to within one score.
Despite a strong defensive stand in the final 10 minutes, the Vikes would allow the Thunderbirds over the line twice more, securing the victory for UBC by a final score of 45-26.
Up next, the Vikes will host the undefeated Castaway Wanderers on Friday, Nov. 9 at Centennial Stadium. Kick off at 7:00 pm.
1st 2nd F
VIC: 19 5 26
UBC: 12 33 45
Kaay (2T), Bowd (3C), Costa (1T), Vataiki (1T)