VICTORIA, B.C. – Competing against varsity teams from all across North America, the University of Victoria Vikes men’s rugby team came out on top to win the Las Vegas Sevens Invitational in the men’s College 7s division this past weekend.
The UVic men kicked off the tournament in style with an impressive 52-0 win over New Mexico State University. In their second game in pool play the Vikes were more evenly matched with Lindenwood University but still only allowed one converted try to win the game by 10 points, posting a final score of 17-7.
On day two the Vikes took on the University of Pittsburgh in their final game of pool play. The UVic men bested the east coasters with a score of 24-5. Having won all of their first round games, the Vikes went through to the quarterfinals to take on the University of Pennsylvania. The UVic men blanked their opposition with a score of 39-0 and in doing so, moved one step closer to hoisting the tournament’s ultimate prize.
In two semifinal games the Vikes took on the University of Texas and San Diego State University, beating both teams 36-0 and 38-0, respectively. The Cup final was played in the stadium during a break in international sevens play and in front of thousands of spectators the Vikes ran Central Washington University for a final score of 33-7.
"I think that the key for us was our defense. The other teams were good and they had opportunities but defensively, we were rock-solid," said Vikes head coach Doug Tate. "Beau Parker (Vancouver, BC) made a big difference for us too, he had great speed and with a lot of our younger guys having previous sevens experience there weren't many unforced errors."
With the National University Rugby Sevens tournament making its third appearance Mar. 1-2 in Langford, the Vikes will look to use their recent triumph in Vegas to further prepare for competition against some of the best varsity sevens teams in Canada.
Next up for the Vikes men is a Feb. 23 game, 2:45 p.m., at Wallace Field against Bayside.