VANCOUVER – Third-year Vike Jess Neilson made two penalty kicks and three conversions and six different Vikes contributed tries on the way to a 47-17 season-opening victory over the UBC Thunderbirds in Vancouver.
The two teams entered the game on opposite ends of the Canada West coaches poll, with the Vikes in first and UBC in last. But it was the Thunderbirds who were first out of the gate, jumping out to a 12-3 lead after the first 30 minutes before the Vikes scored 27 straight points to put the T-Birds away.
Chelsey Minter, who is returning to the Vikes program for her fifth year after a few years away, scored the game’s final try in the 79th minute while prop Jennifer Appleby score a pair of tries to lead the Vikes.UVic’s other tries came at the hands of Angela Thompson, Gurpreet Dhaliwal and Madeleine Graham.
The Vikes enjoyed unanswered scoring streaks of 27 and 17 in the game to reach the 47-17 final. The only break between Thompson’s try in the 32nd minute and Minter’s in the 79th was a try from UBC’s Ciara Malone.
Overall, it was a successful regular season road game for a team that hasn’t played on since October of 2014. The Vikes will return home next weekend to face off against the Calgary Dinos on September 23 at 5:00 p.m