PREVIEW: Final chance to earn playoff spot as Vikes finish season at home
Nothing has come easy for the UVic Vikes men's rugby team in 2016-17 and that continues to be the case in their final BC Premier League game of the season, being played at Wallace Field on April 8, against undefeated Burnaby Lake.
Not only are the Vikes going into the must-win game against the top team in the league, but UVic also has to contend, once again, with missing some key components from the line up.
"It's going to be hard; we are missing ten players," said Vikes head coach Doug Tate. "Five guys went away with the national team today and we have some season-ending injuries, so we'll be pulling guys up from the second team, which will be difficult because Burnaby is a very physical team, but we just have to play smart."
Currently in eighth place in the BC Premier League with a record of 2-5-0, the Vikes will need to win their game and hope that some of the teams ahead of them fall on the final weekend to work their way up to the sixth and final playoff position.
"We just haven't been able to get our whole team on the field, but you have to take those challenges and you have to roll with them," said Tate.
Burnaby Lake is 6-0-0 on the year and are presently in second place in the standings, however, they are just one point back of the first place Castaway Wanderers and have played one game less than the team from Oak Bay.
Last Time Out
The Vikes had the lead late but couldn't hold off a surging Seattle squad in a 45-32 loss back on March 25. The loss was the third in a row for a Vikes team that has struggled since winning back-to-back games in February.
Burnaby Lake picked up their sixth win in as many games last weekend when they defeated the UBCOB Ravens by a score of 29-10.
"They're very physical; a big team with pretty good balance and good attacking players," said Tate of Burnaby Lake. "They've done pretty well against the better teams in the league and are the team to beat right now for sure."
By the Numbers
136: The point differential Burnaby has accrued through their six games so far this season.
2: The number of points the Vikes currently trail sixth place James Bay by.
2: The number of tries Macbryan Bos scored in the Vikes game against Seattle to lead the team.
Doug Tate, Vikes head coach
"The guys are pretty keen about trying to make to make the playoffs and are doing everything they can."
"There are some guys that will be playing their last games as Vikes if we don't make the playoffs so their motivation level is there. If you aren't motivated to play against a team like Burnaby you aren't going to be in the game anyway so it's a good challenge."
Saturday, Apr. 8 – 2:45 p.m. – vs. Burnaby Lake, Wallace Field Victoria, B.C. – Buy tickets at govikesgo.com/tickets