VICTORIA, B.C. – In the third annual National University Sevens Rugby Championship held at Westhills Stadium in Langford, B.C. the University of Victoria Vikes men’s rugby team brought back the cup in a final 35-5 showdown against the University of Western Ontario Mustangs.
After last year’s semifinal loss to the Mustangs the Vikes were keen for another run at the University Sevens title. Doubling down and entering two teams into this year’s tournament, the Vikes were unstoppable. Showcasing the depth of UVic’s program, rookies such as Nathan Yanagiya (North Vancouver, BC) and Fergus Hall were the x-factors, putting up some big points for the cup winners. In addition, sophomore flyhalf Patrick Kay (Duncan, B.C.) was awarded top honours as player of the tournament.
“I’m happy for these guys, it was a great weekend,” said head coach of the Vikes men’s rugby team, Doug Tate. “We started out a bit slow but really stepped it up for this game, it was a credit to our guys’ fitness and skill.”
In their first game of the day against the University of Alberta Golden Bears, the Vikes ran the prairie side 48-5 as they moved one step closer to the title. In an entertaining cup semifinal the Vikes played their fellow Vikes squad, the Norsemen. The Vikes conceded two tries to their UVic counterparts but put up 35 points to earn their berth into the cup final.
In a rematch of last year’s semifinal, the Vikes found themselves once again facing off against their eastern competition. With a roster that included international Canadian sevens player Conor Trainor, the Mustangs had every reason to like their chances but struggled to cross the line as the Vikes ran rampant with the ball.
It was rookie Hall that put up the first points of the game as he scooped up a loose ball and in a solo effort beat two defenders for the five points. A few short minutes later, fourth-year Liam Murray (North Vancouver, BC) crossed the line again for the UVic men to make it 14-0 over the Mustangs.
With a converted try from Kay followed by another five points from Shawnigan Lake grad Dustin Dobravsky (Hanover, Germany) the UVic men leapt ahead of the defending champs. Kay notched another and made good on the conversion to make it 35-0. The Mustangs were finally on the board after a run from Trainor but it was too little too late for the Western men and the Vikes took home the cup with a final score of 35-5.
“Our commitment on defence is what did it, it gave us a lot of our scoring opportunities,” said Tate. “We worked hard for the points but we also took pride in our defensive game and it was a well-deserved victory.”
UVic Scorers VS University of Western Ontario Mustangs
Pat Kay – 20 (2 tries, 5 conversions)
Fergus Hall – 5 (1 try)
Liam Murray – 5 (1 try)
Dustin Dobrovsky – 5 (1 try)