BURNABY - Less than a week after returning from the Gold Coast 7s while representing his country on the international stage, Phil Mack shook off any signs of jet-lag from his whirlwind trip and lifted the UVic Vikes men's rugby team to a 30-22 bonus point win over Burnaby Lake Rugby Club. Also in action for the first time in six months since returning from injury was UVic's Canadian international Nathan Hirayama who helped lift the Vikes to 2-2 in Canadian Direct Insurance Premier League play.
The Vikes found themselves down 10-3 at the break but rallied back with four tries in the second half to secure the bonus point. UVic scrum half Mack was in top form contributing a brace of tries.
"Phil Mack was excellent," said Burnaby's Director of Rugby Simon Smoldon. "He is one of the most dangerous players in the league both on offence and defence."
The Vikes were also lethal in their counterattack and after Kane Wyatt caught a clearance kick, he returned it all the way to Burnaby's try line dotting down under the posts.
With the clock running out, UVic's narrow 25-22 lead appeared to be in jeopardy with Burnaby knocking on the door. A penalty against UVic just 15 metres outside their try line awarded Burnaby a chance for the tie, but the home side opted for the quick tap and were eventually held out of scoring range.
Shortly after, UVic turned the ball over and countered to see Luke Campbell go over for the fourth try. A pair of conversions and penalties from Hirayama saw the students come away 30-22 victors.
"We barely touched the ball in the first 20 minutes but after they took their lead, we stuck in and Burnaby got a bit tired," UVic's coach Doug Date said. "Everybody contributed and in the end we had a great final 10 minutes. Playing in his first game back after six months off, Nate [Hirayama] had some great tactical kicks and had a pretty good outing as well."
Up next the Vikes return home to face the UBCOB Ravens (1-2-1) on October 27th, and Burnaby will look to get back to winning ways when they head to Victoria for a rematch of last year's semifinal against James Bay (2-1).
Around the league…
The UBCOB Ravens drew 18-18 with Castaway Wanderers (1-2-1) at Jericho Park and Bayside fell 15-38 to James Bay in Victoria. Lynrd Hall recorded a trio of tries to lift Meraloma (3-1) to a 26-12 victory over defending Rounsefell Cup champions Capilano who are still top of the table with a 3-2 record.
Canadian Direct Insurance Premier League - Sat. October 20th:
Capilano RFC 12 - 26(+1) Meraloma Rugby Club
UVic Vikes 30(+1) - 22 Burnaby Lake
Bayside AA 15 - 38(+1) James Bay AA
Castaway Wanderers 18 - 18 UBCOB Ravens
Ceili's Cup League (Tier 1 First Division) - Sat. October 20th:
Capilano RFC 19 - 5 Meraloma Rugby Club
UVic Norsemen 32(+1) - 29(+2) Burnaby Lake
Bayside AA 8 - 55(+1) James Bay AA
Castaway Wanderers 65(+1) - 5 UBCOB Raven