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Second half comeback by James Bay shocks Vikes in Barnard Cup final
 
Published Saturday, November 30, 2013
by James Neilsen, UVic Vikes Sports Information

The University of Victoria Vikes men's rugby squad played host to the 2013 Barnard Cup, facing rival James Bay Athletic Association Nov.29, under the lights at Centennial Stadium. James Bay rallied from a large second-half deficit to capture the Barnard Cup 26-23.  Jamie MacKenzie and Luke McCloskey posted tries for the Vikes, while Fergus Hall posted a conversion and two penalty kicks.
 
SCHEDULE  /  ROSTER /  JUDAH CAMPBELL FUND
 
The Vikes opened up the first half of play with the majority of possession, allowing MacKenzie to begin and finish a rush up the left side of the field. Teammate Pat Kay assisted on the play after receiving the ball and running it into the corner before passing it off to MacKenzie for the try.

The Vikes continued to put the pressure on James Bay, keeping possession of the ball and pushing up the middle of the field before McCloskey finished the drive with a try. Vike Fergus Hall extended the lead minutes later off a penalty kick opportunity at the 22-yard mark, making no mistake as he drove the ball through the posts to add to his league-leading point total.

James Bay shored up their defensive game following the penalty kick, retaining the ball for the next ten minutes of the game and keeping the Vikes within their own 22-yard zone for a majority of that time.  At the 31-minute mark of the first half, the pressure paid off as UVic's Jeff Nishma-Miller received a yellow card in his own zone. James
Bay would come within feet of scoring several times before Spencer Delziel was finally able to score for James Bay just before the second half whistle blew. The teams would go into the half with the Vikes holding a 13-5 lead.

James Bay carried the momentum heading early into the second half, but it would be the Vikes who struck first, with Nathan Yanagiya breaking up to the left side of the field into the 22-yard zone of James Bay before passing it off to McCloskey for his second try of the game. After his first two conversion attempts sailed just wide, Fergus Hall made no mistake as he put the ball through the uprights for his first conversion of the game.

Cope Racine answered back for James Bay in the 55th minute, as a scrum in the left corner ended with Racine breaking through the Vikes defence to pull James Bay within eight points. Play continued to swing in James Bay's favour in the second half, although they would be unable to post additional points until the latter point of the second half.

Fergus Hall would convert a second penalty kick for the Vikes but the Bay's refused to collapse, answering back quickly with a try by Nolan Miles. Sensing they had momentum on their side, they pushed back into the Vikes end once again, spending several minutes within 10 yards of the try line before scoring again late to push them up 26-23, a lead that would hold until the final whistle.

All proceeds from Friday's match were donated towards the Judah Campbell fund to aid in the rehabilitation of the 24-year-old Kelowna Crows rugby player. The Vikes resume BCRU action on Feb. 15 against Burnaby Lake.


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