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By Elizabeth Chan, Vikes Communications

(ISN) – VICTORIA – The University of Victoria Vikes men’s rugby team are back in CDI Premier action this weekend, Feb. 21, after a two-week training tour in Germany. The Vikes are immediately back to game play as they visit Burnaby Lake RFC for a regular 2.30 p.m. kick off.

 

“Burnaby Lake have been one of the most consistent teams in the last three years,” said Doug Tate, Vikes men’s rugby head coach. “They are forward when it comes to attacking and they have solid scrums, so it will be a really physical game for us.”

The Vikes last played Burnaby on Nov. 15, with Victoria mustering a 19-15 win over a defensive Burnaby squad at Wallace Field. Vikes winger Crosby Stewart tallied the only try for Victoria, while fly half Guiseppe duToit secured the convert and four penalty kicks in the win.

Burnaby Lake brought a relentless offence that powered the team to three tries that day, one each from Brian Murphy, Giuseppe Laudisio and international Stu Vincent. Currently, Burnaby is ranked fifth in the standings with a 3-5-1 record.

The Vikes are ranked second in the standings, behind the UBC Thunderbirds (8-1). Capilano RFC trail the Vikes by one point in the standings and a 6-2 record.

The Vikes will be shaking off some jet lag, post-tour excitement and a bit of flu after touching down on home lands less than one week before game time.

In their Feb. 14 matchup against a tough Baden-Wuerttemberg RU squad in Germany, the Vikes were stung 36-14 in their only on-tour game after their Feb. 7 match was cancelled due to a frozen pitch.

“We knew very little about the [German] teams,” added Tate, whose connection with the president of the rugby union in Germany sparked the tour. “Baden were strong and physical, but that gave us the experience we need to take on Burnaby, who have a similar style.”

Fourth-year winger Luke McCloskey and third-year flanker Robbie Anderson were the try scorers in their matchup with Baden-Wuerttemberg RU, while second-year fullback Fergus Hall made the successful converts.

This was the first international experience for the majority of the Vikes and it proved to be a key opportunity to work on team dynamics. Second years duToit and Oliver Nott, will return to play this weekend. Both were unable to join the Germany tour because of Team Canada Under 20 training commitments.

The Vikes and Burnaby will kick off Saturday, Feb. 21, at 2.30 p.m. at the Burnaby Lake Sports Complex.

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