Castaway Wanderers Surprise First Place Rugby Vikes With Tie

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Erich Eichhorn (ISN) – The last place Castaway Wanderers relegated the high-flying UVic Vikes rugby squad to a 24-24 tie in impressive game fashion  Saturday afternoon at Windsor Park in Premier Division Canadian Direct Insurance League play. 

Vikes Luke Campbell tries to stop the CW advance as CW #10 Clay Panga looks for the pass. Castaway Wanderers would finish the game tied with the league leading UVic Vikes in CDI League rugby play Saturday at Windsor Park – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)

The Castaway Wanderers. sitting in eighth place and looking for a way out of the cellar standings brought their best game to the home pitch against a  young, first place Vikes  fielding a team that carried many seven’s team members that recently won the University Sevens National Championships.

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Vikes Crosby Stewart looks to spread the field with his pass. Stewart would score the final try to save his team the loss against the Castaway Wanderers – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)

Without expectation, CW, missing players to national commitments and injuries, have had to make due most of the season against a loaded league boasting 4 teams all in contention for first place w four weeks remaining in regular season play.

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CW’s Brenden Keliher unloads the ball before being taken down with a Vikes tackle – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)

From the opening kick off the Castaway Wanderers controlled the field of play in the first half. Ball possession apparently key to a successful attack, the Castaway Wanderers were the quicker to the ball, making the most of the short passing plays of the Vikes with quick tackles against a team known for spreading the field to allow Uvic’s speedy wingers to take advantage of the slower opposition.  

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Two Vikes try to bring down a determined Kyle Kohort ( one with a right cross ?) – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)

CW, looking for points early would attempt a penalty kick from 40m out that would go wide, but would be redeemed soon after on a try by Graham Turner to put the first mark on the board. Lyr Morris would add to the Castaway Wanderer score with a try just to the left side of the goal post after a “sustained maul” that UVic couldn’t keep pace with. CW would jump out to a 14-0 lead on the shocked, Doug Tate coached, UVic Vikes.

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Vikes Fergus Hall had plenty of pace in the game, but couldn’t escape CW Adam Bontus’ tackle – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)

The Vikes, being made to work extra hard for blue collar yards, would finally score two trys of their own, the last by Connor Llewellyn from James Pitblado to make it 14-14 as Coach Tate could be heard from the field end emphatically pleading for his team to pickup the pace the pace in the game. CW would drive for another five points late to finish the first half 19-14.

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UVic would look to take command at the start of the second half, tying the score at 19-19. Clay Panga would carry the ball at about the 20 min mark for CW to take a 24-19 lead. Perhaps feeling a little pressure on the stalwart play of the Castaway Wanderers, the Vikes would put together an impressive set to get downfield for the corner try by the fleet-of –foot Crosby Stewart to tie the game at 24-24 with 10 minutes remaining. A late UVic gift would give CW the opportunity for the win on a penalty kick but came up on the short side of the sticks. The referee would blow the game down with the game tied 24-24 and the end of regulation time.

For the Vikes, I’m sure there are to be few meaningful practices next week, and for CW, well, I’m sure the team feels the tie was as good as a win for the effort they showed to their tri-color faithful. Well done CW !

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Next weekend in CDI rugby action, the Castaway Wanderers enjoy a bye weekend, while the UVic Vikes host the third place Capilano Caps at Wallace field

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