The Vikes lost the Wightman Boot series for the first time in 17 years last season
by Ardy Ramezani,
(ISN) – VICTORIA- The University of Victoria Vikes men’s rugby team will travel to the mainland to take on UBC Thunderbirds for their third CDI Premier game and also the first-leg of the Wightman Boot series on Oct. 25. Both teams are undefeated in the CDI premier league and look to win the first-leg of a rivalry that dates back to 1970.
Although the Boot competition has a long history, it is the first season that the UBC Thunderbirds are playing in the CDI premier league following their departure from the Okanagan Spring Brewery Division 1 league. Both teams have 2-0 records and the Vikes look to bounce back from last year’s Boot series loss. The addition of the Thunderbirds to the league raises the stakes as the series games count as regular season games in the CDI league as well.
“It will be a tough game,” said head coach Doug Tate. “They are a very well balanced team and a good test for us but we’ve had tough games this season and we are ready.”
The Vikes will have the return of international experience to the squad as national seven’s team members Justin Douglas and Lucas Hammond makes the transition back to 15’s rugby. Second-year centre Joe Erlic will take the spot of fifth-year captain Remi Anctil, who will not be playing the game due to injury.
“It will be physical and both teams will have to keep their heads in the game for 80 minutes if they want to win,” adds Tate.
Contested between UVic and UBC since 1970, the Wightman boot competition is named after former UBC rugby coach Brian Wightman. The total points scored over the two-game series decides the winner of the competition. Last season marked the first year since the 1997 that UBC won the series and kept the trophy in Vancouver.
The Vikes will look seek revenge on Oct. 25 at 2:45 p.m. at UBC’s Lord Rugby Field.