February 19th, 2017 Victoria, BC (ISN) – The University of Victoria Vikes closed out the final day of competition at Wallace Field with three wins and a 90-0 point differential to claim second in the first-ever Canada West rugby sevens series, presented by Rugby Canada and B2Ten.
The University of Calgary Dinos defeated the Alberta Pandas 26-5 in the final game of the series, giving them both the tournament victory in Victoria as well as the overall Canada West women’s rugby sevens series.
“We’ve had a fair bit of adversity over the last couple weeks so it is a pretty resilient bunch here,” said Dinos head coach Simon Chi. “The tournament is set up for consistency so we’re always in contention there.
“It was a scenario where we can control our destiny and that’s what we asked the girls to do and they did it. So credit to them.”
The tournament win, combined with their second place finish at the first tournament in Alberta, gives the Dinos 18 points in the overall series standings, two clear of the second-place UVic Vikes.
The day wasn’t without adversity for the Dinos though, as a loss in the final round robin game of the day to the Pandas (19-0) set up a rematch in the final that the team from Calgary dominated.
Kelcey Leavitt and Isla Shill were both electric in the first place game, scoring two tries apiece to put the game out of reach well before the final whistle.
“Kelcey is a fifth-year who has battled some injuries over the last couple of years and all of a sudden we’re back to 2012 where she’s playing amazing,” said Chi. “Isla is now in her third year, just learning the position, and we’ve asked her to take a leadership position and she did that and stepped up—very proud of that.”
With two losses on opening day it was always going to be an uphill battle for the Vikes to capture the banner, but the team from Victoria did everything they could, outscoring their opponents 90-0 and going 3-0 on the day.
“I think we were disappointed with our Day 1—we didn’t play like we can and we knew that,” said Vikes head coach Brittany Waters. “We just adjusted a few things and kind of came together as a team in our first game today and just went from there.”
The host Vikes defeated the 3-3 UBC T-Birds 19-0 for third place in the tournament, while the Lethbridge Pronghorns secured a 41-0 victory over the UFV Cascades for fifth place.
Even though the series was only two tournaments long, the impact of a competitive sevens series in the Canada West conference be felt for a long time.
“This series is excellent for the growth of sevens—it’s great to have the backing from Rugby Canada and B2Ten,” said Waters. “We only had two tournaments but just out of that, the level of play this tournament was much better than the last one so it’s great to have that and to see everyone improve.”
Rugby Sevens Scoring Summary Day Two
Game 11: UBC T-Birds (0) vs. UVic Vikes (10)
UBC: 0-0: 0
VIC: 5-5: 10
VIC try – #4 Julia Folk (convert missed) – 5-0
VIC try – #10 Jess Neilson (convert missed) 10-0
Game 14: UVic Vikes (61) vs. UFV Cascaades (0)
VIC: 28-33: 61
UFV: 0-0: 0
VIC try – #8 Gabrielle Senft (#10 Jess Neilson convert) – 7-0
VIC try – #8 Julia Folk (#10 Jess Neilson convert) – 14-0
VIC try – #7 Madeleine Graham (#10 Jess Neilson convert) – 21-0
VIC try – #12 Gurpreet Dhaliwal (#10 Jess Neilson convert) – 28-0
VIC try – #3 Chanelle Edwards-Challenger (convert missed) – 33-0
VIC try – #6 Steph Black (#10 Jess Neilson convert) – 40-0
VIC try – #7 Madeleine Graham (#10 Jess Neilson convert) – 47-0
VIC try – #10 Jess Neilson (#10 Jess Neilson convert) – 54-0
VIC try – #2 Jamie Beck (#10 Jess Neilson convert) – 61-0
Third Place Game: UBC T-Birds (0) vs. UVic Vikes (19)
UBC: 0-0: 0
VIC: 0-19: 19
VIC try – #12 Gurpreet Dhaliwal (#10 Jess Neilson convert) – 7-0
VIC try – #3 Chanelle Edwards-Challenger (convert missed) – 12-0
VIC try – #4 Julia Folk (#10 Jess Neilson convert) – 19-0
W L T Pts.
CGY 6 0 0 24
ALB 4 2 0 18
VIC 4 2 0 18
UBC 3 3 0 15
LETH 2 4 0 12
UFV 0 6 0 6
NOTE: Teams are awarded 4 pts. for a win, 2 pts. for a draw, and 1 pt. for a loss.
Overall series standings