(ISN) – VICTORIA, B.C. – The University of Victoria Vikes men’s rugby team reclaimed the prestigious Barnard Cup this afternoon, Nov. 29, winning against the Castaway Wanderers, 35-17, at Wallace Field. The Vikes ended a five-year streak that James Bay Athletics Association has held, winning in 2009-2013, each time against the Vikes.
Vike Guiseppe duToit totalled three tries and three converts in the game, while each of Remi Anctil, James Pitblado,Dustin Dobravsky and Crosby Stewart earned a try for Victoria. For the Castaways, John Braddock, Clay Panga and Ciaran Hearn each earned a try, while Hearn also scored one convert in the match.
A strong defensive line held the Castaways in their end for the majority of the opening half. Second year Vike du Toit was the first to open the score with a penalty kick giving the Vikes a 3-0 lead.
The Castaways attempted an answer by pushing through the Vikes defence but could only near the goal line. Finally, the Vikes extended their lead thanks to the tenacity of captain Anctil. The veteran made his way through traffic to earn the Vikes’ first try in the 25th minute. Anctil set up duToit for the successful convert to give the home side a 10-0 advantage.
The Vikes earned their second try just five minutes later as scrumhalf Pitblado pushed passed the Castaways defence line. Du Toit earned his second convert to boost the Vikes up 17-0.
As half time neared the visitors found a surge of energy. A speedy run down the right side of the pitch saw two Vikes fail in attempt to break the run. Castaways veteran Braddock used his physicality to close the final distance and earn a try in the corner and break the shutout at 17-5, where it would stand entering half time.
Right off the get-go in the second half, Vikes fullback Luke McCloskey made a speedy escape past the Castaways defensive unit to spring senior Dobravsky. Dobravsky’s efforts earned him the Vikes’ third try but it was not converted.
Despite missing the last convert, DuToit successfully kicked his second penalty from near the sideline to put the Vikes up 22-5 mid-way through the second.
The Castaways managed to look like the more offensive team in the early part of the second half. Eightman Panga broke the Vikes’ scoring run, grabbing the Wanderer’s second try that was then converted by Hearn. With the gap down to 22-12, in favour of the Vikes, the Castaways continued to battle. Hearn put the team on his back to single-handedly run the ball through Vikes traffic to earn another try for the visitors, now trailing 22-17.
With 10 minutes left on the clock, du Toit kicked his third penalty putting the Vikes back in the driver’s seat. The Vikes utilized their speed late in the game as winger Stewart ran nearly half the distance of the field, scoring another try, almost effortlessly. Another convert by duToit sealed the score, 35-17, for the Vikes.
With the win, the Vikes reclaim the Barnard Cup title, last won by them in 2008 after a 23-18 victory over James Bay. The Bays have won the past five titles, while the Wanderers have not appeared in the Barnard Cup final sine 2006, when they lost to the Vikes.
This marks the end of the 2014 season for the Vikes, who will return after the December break to face mainland rivals, UBC, on Jan. 17 for the second game of the Wightman Boot series. Kick off will be set for 2.30 p.m. at Wallace Field in Victoria.
Remi Anctil (1 try)
James Pitblado (1 try)
Dustin Dobvravsky (1 try)
Crosby Stewart (1 try)
Guiseppe du Toit (3 penalties, 3 converts)
John Braddock (1 try)
Clay Panga (1 try)
Ciaran Hearn (1 try, 1 convert)
Victoria Vikes: Casey Reed, Casey Cavers, Macbryan Bos, Lukas Balkovec, Shea Wakefield, Luke Campbell, Jeff Nishma-Miller, Dustin Dobravsky, James Pitblado, Guiseppe duToit, Joseph Erlic, Doug Fraser, Remi Anctil (Captain),Crosby Stewart, Luke McCloskey
Castaway Wanderers: John Braddock (Captain), Jake Ilnicki, Jason Allen, Steve Grdic, Nathan Tomas, Riley Ilnicki, Nathan Oliver, Clay Panga, Riley Macpherson, Ciaran Hearn, Jon Morris, Kennet Moore, Jordan Henderson, Keenan Horton, Sam Rocher
BARNARD CUP HISTORY
2014: UVic [25-17] Castaway Wanderers
2013: UVic [23-26] James Bay
2012: UVic [27-54] James Bay
2011: UVic [13-22] James Bay
2010: UVic [37-44] James Bay
2009: UVic [23-27] James Bay
2008: UVic [23-18] James Bay
2007: UVic [20-34] James Bay
2006: UVic [25-23] Castaway Wanderers