Barnard Cup defence begins as Men’s Rugby gets their season underway

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Tale of the Weekend

The Vikes men’s rugby team will officially get their season started this coming weekend with an important game against the James Bay senior rugby team.

This game is a big one for two reasons. It marks the beginning of the qualification rounds for the B.C. Premier division based in the lower mainland, only three of the four Vancouver Island teams trying to qualify will make it in. It also starts the Vikes pursuit of the Barnard Cup, the two top teams from the qualification rounds will do battle for the prestigious trophy December 3.

The game against James Bay is scheduled to begin at 2:45 p.m. Saturday, September 17.

The two teams met earlier in the year in an exhibtion match that James Bay won by a score of 22-19.

Last Time Out

The last season was a good one for the Vikes.

A perfect 9-0 record in the Island qualification rounds not only secured them a place in the Premier division but also sent them into their tenth-straight Barnard Cup final. The Vikes claimed their second straight Island championship with a victory over the Castaway Wanderers.

The championships didn’t stop there for the Vikes. They also claimed their fourth-straight University Sevens title with a win over rivals UBC.

“Over the years we’ve had quite a few good players come here for the sevens. Last year was one of the years where the guys actually played very well. UBC was quite strong last year,” said Vikes head coach Doug Tate.

By The Numbers

7: The number of years in a row UVic and James Bay played for the Barnard Cup between 2007 and 2013. James Bay won five of those contests with the Vikes winning twice.

5: There were five Vikes named as all-stars at last years University Sevens tournament. One of those was fourth-year wing Crosby Stewart. “Crosby is a fairly prolific scorer. He’s been getting better every year, he plays big for his size is very quick and works very hard in the off-season. We expect him to be a bit of a scoring machine for us for sure,” said Tate.

Coach’s Take
Doug Tate, Vikes head coach

On James Bay, “Of all the clubs in B.C., they have one of the richest traditions of winning for sure. They have probably won more championships than anybody else.  They’ll have a good team, play a very physical brand of rugby. So we’ll definitely have to play well to beat them.”

Game Info

Saturday, Sep. 17 – 2:45 p.m. – vs James Bay @ Macdonald Park

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