Andrew Smith

Vancouver, BC: Fresh off his gold-medal winning performance at the Pan-American Games with the Canadian National Senior Men’s Sevens Team, Phil Mack marked his return to club rugby by leading the University of Vikes to a 82-0 victory over the UBC Thunderbirds. Mack was instrumental in securing the first leg of the 2011-2012 Wightman ‘Boot’ series contributing two tries and a dominant performance at scrum half.

“I thought Phil Mack had an amazing game for us,” said UVic head coach Doug Tate. “UBC tried to match us defensively and at times play us out wide, but Phil continued to cut through their line. He had two very impressive tries that got us going in the first half.”

Mack’s first try saw him shed off multiple tacklers on a 30-yard dash to the try line, diving into the far right corner for the opening score. The floodgates then opened for the Vikes with another four tries in the first half. Second row Brett Beukeboom crossed over twice with further tallies coming from Mack and winger Beau Parker. Dustin Dobravsky kicked three conversions for the 31-0 half time lead.

The second frame saw Parker cross over twice more with tries also coming courtesy of Remi Anctil, Willem Du Plessis, Sean Duke, Tony LaCarte and Keenan Horton. Dobravsky notched two tries and handed over the kicking duties to Kane Wyatt who tacked on another three conversions.

“We moved the ball really well and I think that was frustrating for UBC’s defence,” Tate added. “We didn’t give them any room and our transitional game was really good. We’ve played some really hard games on the Island recently and I think that showed in the way our defence played today.”

The Vikes will look to clinch their 15th straight ‘Boot’ series when they host UBC in the rubber match this spring. The date and location are still to be confirmed.

About the ‘Boot’

More commonly known as “The Boot”, the home-and-home series played between the province’s top university rugby programs will be in its 41st edition this year. The annual competition was named after the late Brian Wightman, who was at the helm of the Thunderbirds from 1964-1967. The trophy for the annual competition features Wightman’s boot, which was stolen and bronzed by his players. The “Boot Game” has featured the Vikes and Thunderbirds every year since 1970 with the exception of the 1978-79 season when UBC hosted Stanford. The Vikes have won 14 consecutive titles, recording the highest ever point margin in 2009-2010, outscoring the Thunderbirds 117-23.