Two familiar foes will meet once again this coming weekend in BC Premier Men’s Rugby League action, but this time it will be win or go home when the University of Victoria Vikes clash with the Castaway Wanderers in Oak Bay on April 21.
On the line in Oak Bay will be a spot in the semifinals, as the two Vancouver Island rivals will battle for the right to face the UBC Thunderbirds in Vancouver on April 28.
Starting at 2:30 p.m., the game will feature a Wanderers team that finished the regular season in fourth place with a record of 13-7 against the fifth-place Vikes, who wrapped up their season with a record of 11-9.
The Vikes finished the regular season as the hottest team in the league, winning their final eight games in a row to force their way into the playoff picture after starting the year with just three victories in their first 12 games.
With a large number of Castaways having formerly donned the blue and gold of the Vikes, there will be no shortage of storylines this weekend when the two Island powerhouses go toe-to-toe once again.
UVic emerged victorious in both of the games that the teams played during the regular season in what were two extremely close contests.
Last Time Out
The Vikes will enter the game with momentum on their side in more way than one. Not only are they the holders of that eight-game winning streak, but they defeated the Wanderers by a score of 32-31 in what was the regular season finale for both teams last weekend.
By the Numbers
684: The number of points the Vikes scored in the 2017-18 season, the second-most in the league.
8: The Vikes current win streak sees them enter the playoffs as the hottest team in the league.
6: The two regular season victories the Vikes recorded over Castaways were both close affairs, with a combined margin of just six points.
Doug Tate, Vikes head coach
“CW is the fourth-ranked team and they put up a lot of points in the standings for a reason. We have beat them twice this season but they were both close games and we got a bit lucky in the game last weekend.”
“We are going to have to be a little bit better this Saturday. There are things that we need to work on like cutting down on our missed tackles, but CW are going to get their chances. They have a lot of skilled players.”
“There are not many secrets between the two teams. They have at least six starters that have played for the Vikes, so they know the style that we are going to play. Their field will be a bit challenging for us because it is narrower than we are used to, so we will have to be a bit more direct.”
“I think we have a bit of an edge in the goal-kicking department and that is especially important in the playoffs.”
“If we can tidy up our defence and keep our penalty count down it is going to be a close game. Our team is starting to play a full 80 minutes, which we showed against the Caps and also last weekend against CW and you have to do that if you want to win in this league, especially in the playoffs.”
Saturday, Apr. 21 – 2:30 p.m. – at Castaway Wanderers – Oak Bay, Victoria, B.C.
Castaway Wanderers (13-7)
Premier League Standings: 3rd
Bonus Points: 13
Streak: L 2