UVic Rugby Ones Conquer Visiting UBCOB Ravens

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Story and images by Erich Eichhorn (ISN)

Erich Eichhorn (ISN) – The UVic Vikes Premier division rugby squad handily defeated the visiting UBCOB Ravens RFC Saturday at Wallace Field 35-13 to improve to 3-1 on the CDI Premier League season.

The UVic Vikes CDI Premier Divison Rugby team defeated soundly the UBCOB Ravens 35-13 at Wallace Field. Luke McClosky fends off the tackle of  Raven’s James MacDonald – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportsmedia.ca)

The highflying Vikes, led by names like Luke McClosky, Fergus Hall, Guiseppe du Toit, and Casey Cavers came into todays game looking to avenge their first loss of the season, dropping a 30-19 decision last weekend to the first place UBC Thunderbirds. The Ravens, coming off a win last weekend to the Vancouver Rowing Club, were looking to claw their way up the standings in what was to be a pivotal game for them on the UVic campus. With their league 2nd leading scorer in import player Tom Luke (30 points), the Ravens hoped for a result that could have seen them leap over Burnaby Lake Rugby Club and into a 2-way 3rd place tie with the home Vikes team.

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A Ravens offense was stimied by the Vikes stalwart defense with plays like from  Lucas Hammond shown here – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)

The Vikes CDI Premier Division rugby team didn’t waste anytime quashing those hopes, as the Guiseppe du Toit would take advantage of a UBCOB penalty, kicking the first points onto the board for the home side to jump onto the board for an early lead. Vikes would add to the lead soon after when, after taking an artfully placed pass from Crosby Stewart, inside centre Doug Fraser would run the sideline for approx. 30 yards and the try, catching the Ravens sitting back on their heals. Nick Allen of the Ravens would add a late penalty marker to pull closer to the Vikes squad at the end of the first half with a 16-6 score.

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Vikes Doug Fraser delivers the ball before being tackled by a Ravens defender. Fraser would score a try for his Vikes team – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)

That would be all the defensive minded Vikes would allow from the Ravens, as UVic would completely dominate the second half, shutting down the UCBOB Ravens with a smothering defense.  Luke McCloskey, back after almost eight months with a shoulder injury, was a welcomed return to the already explosive back line. McCloskey would run strongly for the Vikes all game, finding minimal space on the wings to slip past a normally strong Ravens defense. The Ravens came into the afternoon game with a -2-point for/against record against their competition.  

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Scrum Half James Pitblado starts the line running after pulling the ball out of the scrum – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)

 Luke McCloskey would seemingly own the second half, afforded the opportunity to run for two well-earned trys to put the game out of reach.  MacBryan Bos of UVic would tally the additional try for the Vikes side. The UVic Vikes would take the 35-13 win over the Ravens and share a second place tie with Capilano RFC, who were defeated by the top seeded UBC Thunderbirds in a close 23-17 test at Wolfson Fields.

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Luke McCloskey, returning after a shoulder injury, recorded to tries for his UVic side – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)

Guiseppe du Toit added to his eleventh place league points total with 3 conversions and 3 penalty kicks to finish with and impressive 11 pts to his teams cause on the afternoon.

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Guiseppe du Toit added 11 points to his teams cause in a Vikes victory over the UBCOB Ravens – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)

When asked about his teams’ performance on the afternoon, Head Coach Doug Tate would comment, “ They’re (Ravens) a pretty physical team, it took some time to break them down. We had some nice individual effort, some good breaks.  Defensively, Coach Tate couldn’t have been happier with his teams play, “They kept coming at us with some big, heavy guys in the middle of the field, an although we took poor penalties and too many loose balls, when we did turn over the ball we made them (Ravens) run for the first sixty minutes of the game, and I think that helped us later in the game to score two or three tries at the end. We need to play like this to be successful”.

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Vikes broke down the Ravens defense in the second half, enjoying the running style of game they are known for – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)

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Raven Ben Grant takes down ball carrier Vikes Nathan Stewart – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)

With a tough schedule in November against Capilano RFC and Burnaby Lake Rugby Club, the Vikes will have to be on the top of their game.  The Vikes play Capilano RFC in Vancouver November 8th in what may prove to be a pivotal game for the UVic side in the standings with second place on the line. 

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