Winners of seven straight games, the University of Victoria Vikes men’s rugby team have saved their best for last as they prepare to play their final regular season game of 2017-18 this weekend against the Castaway Wanderers on April 14.
Starting at 2:30 p.m. in Oak Bay, the game will have playoff implications for both the Vikes and the Wanderers.
While UVic clinched a playoff spot last weekend with a thrilling victory, the team will be looking to cement their hold on fifth-place in the BC Premier League with a positive result against the Wanderers. For Castaway, currently sitting third, they will also be looking for a victory to try and guarantee home field advantage for the first round of the playoffs.
The Vikes know that they will be on the road when the playoffs begin on April 21, but exactly who they will be facing remains to be seen.
With the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds and the UBC Old Boys Ravens currently battling for first and second spot, the Vikes will be taking on either a team that they were narrowly beaten by a score 22-20 in the form of UBC, or a UBCOB squad that they upset 36-31.
The Vikes will have recent history on their side in the contest this weekend, they defeated the Wanderers 21-15 on Wallace Field back on Nov. 4.
Last Time Out
There was no lack of drama in the Vikes 52-41 victory over the Capilanos last weekend. Leading 35-15 early in the second half, the Vikes surrendered four-straight tries and quickly found themselves trailing 41-35 with just 15 minutes left to play.
The team rallied however and stormed back to capture the victory.
In the final home game of his university career, James Pitblado led the team with two tries. Also scoring were Cathal Long (2T), Brennig Prevost (1T, 6C), Ethan Hager (1T), Jack McCarthy (1T) and Jackson Matthews (1T).
Castaway was defeated by first-place UBC last weekend, falling 25-17 in Vancouver. The Wanderers led 14-0 early but couldn’t hold off a strong Thunderbirds push in the second half.
By the Numbers
1273: The game should be a high-scoring affair with the teams combining for well over 1,000 points scored on the season.
360: The number of points the Vikes have scored during their current winning streak.
208: The offence may get all the headlines, but the Vikes defence has been outstanding in the second half, allowing just over 200 points in their eight games played.
Saturday, Apr. 14 – 2:30 p.m. – as Castaway Wanderers – Oak Bay, Victoria, B.C.
Castaway Wanderers (13-6)
Premier League Standings: 3rd
Bonus Points: 13
Streak: L 1