University 7s

Story by Bryan Kelly (Rugby Canada)/photographs by Glenn Ivens (ISN)

March 3, 2013 Victoria, BC (ISN) – Over 300 athletes took to Westhills Stadium and Goudy Field at the Canadian Rugby Centre of Excellence in Langford, BC over March 1-2 for the third annual National Invitational University Sevens. An incredible total of 82 games were played over a 36-hour span with men’s and women’s teams from across the country taking home hardware in the form of the Cup, Plate, Bowl and Shield titles.


Men’s Cup Championship


UVic Vikes Fergus Hall gets a peice of UVic Norseman Adam Kleeberger during Cup semi-final action at the National Invitational University Championships on Saturday. (photo by Glenn Ivens)

The UVic Vikes received long-awaited payback against Western University to capture their second National Invitational University Sevens Title in three years. The Vikes won the inaugural event in 2011 before losing to the Mustangs in the semi final of last year’s event at the Canadian Rugby Centre of Excellence. Coached by Doug Tate, UVic was lead by Pat Kay, as he scored two tries and added four conversions for a total of 18 points in the final. Liam Murray and Dustin Dobrovsky also touched down for tries for the hometown side. Canadian sevens star Conor Trainor, who helped his team reach the Cup Finals with exceptional play on day one and two, was held to only one try for Western through strong defense by UVic.


Vikes’ Dustin Dobrovsky dives for the try line in semi-final action at the National Invitational University Championship hosted by Rugby Canada. (photo by Glenn Ivens)

UVic captain, Kay, received Player of the Tournament honours.


UVic’s Patrick Kay earned the ‘Player of the Tournament’ award for his stellar play throughout the tournament. (photo by Glenn Ivens)

“I thought our guys played well throughout the tournament and it was great to get the win against Western, especially since we played them last year in the semi finals and lost,” said Kay after the Cup Final.

“I think we struggled a bit early on in the tournament but every game leading up to the finals we got better and our guys played hard. This tournament is great for the game of sevens as it gives teams from across the country a chance to compete against one another,” said Kay.


Vikes’ Fergus Hall looks to break to the outside against Norseman Jeff Nashima-Miller during Saturday’s match at the National Invitational University Championships held at Rugby Canada’s Centre for Excellence in Langford, BC. (photo by Glenn Ivens)

Final Score: UVic 35 – Western 5


Women’s Cup Championship

Canadian national sevens athlete Brittany Benn touched down for four tallies in the Women’s Cup Championship to lead the Guelph Gryphons to a 41-0 over the Calgary Dinos. The victory for Colette Mcauley’s side marked the second consecutive time her team has walked away from this event with the major trophy. Stef Tibelius added four conversions and, much to the surprise of the crowd, a drop goal from inside the 22m line. Drop goals are rare in the game of sevens and Tibelius slotted the goal through the posts with ease. Shannon Spurrell and Caitlin McNally also scored for the Gryphons en route to the victory.


University of Alberta’s Chelsea Guthrie broke through the Gryphons defence early to open the scoring but Guelph proved too much taking the win and advancing to the Cup final. (photo by Glenn Ivens)

Guelph captain, Benn, was awarded with Player of the Tournament.

“I think we started this game great and we played well wearing our traditional black jerseys and that amped us up. We tried to leave nothing on the field and I think we did that tonight,” said Benn after the Finals.


Britt Benn capped off her 5 years at the Univeristy of Guelph with a Cup victory and ‘Player of the Tournament’ honours. (photo by Glenn Ivens)

“This tournament is a great opportunity to represent your University; I’ve been with the Gryphons for five years and this is the end of my road. It’s an honour to play for Colette McCauley and all the other girls on the team and the girls back home. Today’s championship was a team effort,” said Benn.

Final Score: Guelph 41 – Calgary 0


Men’s Plate Championship

In the all-Ontario Plate Final it was McMaster who would emerge victorious as they came from behind to beat Queens 24-21 to win the 5th/6th game.


Women’s Plate Championship

Paige Farries and Chelsea Guthrie each scored twice while Allison Fairbairn added two conversions to seal a 19-7 victory for the University of Alberta Pandas against the Western Mustangs. Western’s lone try was scored by Ashley Snider and converted by Lori Josephson.

Other Championship Games:

-Royal Military College defeat Humber 24-22 in men’s Bowl Final

-McMaster defeat UBC 27-12 in women’s Bowl Final

-Regina blanks Simon Fraser University in the men’s Shield final

-UVic defeats Humber 41-12 in the women’s Shield Final

Visit the Rugby Canada website to view all the results from the tournament.

To view more images from Day 2 of the National Invitational University 7’s Championship please visit my ISN Gallery and my website.