There can be no denying that the University of Vikes men’s rugby team is peaking at just the right time. With just two games left to play in their 2017-18 regular season schedule, the Vikes come into the penultimate weekend of their season having won their past six games in a row. Facing the Vikes in what will be their final home game of the season, on April 7 at Wallace Field, is a team just one spot behind them in the standings, the Capilanos Rugby Club.
Getting underway at 2:30 p.m., the game will see the Vikes put their win streak on the line in a contest that will have huge playoff implications in an ultra-competitive BC Premier League. The Vikes second-half surge has pushed them to a record of 9-9, add in the 13 bonus points the team has collected throughout their season and they currently occupy fifth-place in the standings with 49 points.
In the sixth and final playoff spot and just one point behind the Vikes with 48 are the Capilanos who hold a record of 8-10 with 16 bonus points. Victory will be crucial to both sides with James Bay waiting in the wings on 44 points to pounce on the last playoff spot if either the Vikes or Capilanos falter down the stretch.
It was the team from North Vancouver that emerged victorious from the contest these teams played earlier in the year. The Vikes controlled the game late but couldn’t find a way to score the game-winning points in a 22-21 loss at Klahanie Park.
Last Time Out
Jack McCarthy, Brennig Prevost, Carson O’Sullivan, Spencer Cooper, James Pitblado, Mostyn Findlayand Gradyn Bowd all scored tries as the Vikes rode out a 31-7 half time advantage to an eventual 55-31 victory south of the border last weekend in Seattle.
“The forwards dominated and quick balls from that platform gave our backs a lot of space and opportunities,” said Vikes assistant coach Rick Farrally of the victory. “Prevost got his conversions going in the second half and the back row was again a force in support and contesting the tackle situations.”
The Caps were last in action against another team fighting for the post-season in the form of James Bay last weekend. James Bay jumped out to a 43-15 halftime lead before the Caps did their best to fight back but ended up dropping the game 46-39.
By the Numbers
600: The number of points the Vikes have scored this season, third-best in the league.
16: The number of bonus points the Caps have earned, the most in the league.
19: During their six game winning streak 19 different Vikes have scored a try.
Doug Tate, Vikes head coach
“There is still no guarantee that we will make the playoffs. If we lose these last two games we could be knocked out.”
“It was a crazy game for the Caps last week, they got way down and almost came back, so it’s always hard to tell what you’re going to get when you play the Caps.”
“We have pretty good depth in certain positions and we finally have a lot of guys back from injury. There are teams that are struggling now due to injury and we are the opposite, we had our injuries earlier in the year.”
“You can’t worry about what spot you finish in and who you might play in the first round. You just have to get in.”
Saturday, Apr. 7 – 2:30 p.m. – vs Capilano Rugby Club – Wallace Field – TICKETS
Capilanos Rugby Club (8-10)
Premier League Standings: 6th
Bonus Points: 16
Streak: L 1