VICTORIA – A ten-day trip to the east coast of Australia might not have resulted in any victories for the UVic Vikes men’s rugby team but the experience gained on the trip will pay dividends in the years to come for a young squad.

Falling to Souths RFC (43-39) and the University of Brisbane (20-14), the Vikes kept things competitive as they battled both the Australian heat as well as their opposition.

In a fast-paced game to kick off the tour, the Vikes squad of 19 players was stretched to the limit against a Souths team that substituted early and often. There were several excellent tries scored by Victoria who fell behind right at the final whistle.

Kevin Leask led the way with two tries and Morgan Tate finished the Vikes scoring late in the second half.

“This was a very good performance in very different conditions for our team,” said Tate.”Now we have two days of recovery before we play Queensland University. This was a close game that was in the balance right until the final whistle – unfortunately for the boys we were just a bit short tonight.”

Casey Reed was named Man of the Match by the Souths coaching staff.

1        2           F
UVIC            26       13        39
SOUTHS      26       17       43

Kevin Leask (2T), Kaprieli Vataiki (1T), Morgan Tate (1T), Casey Reed (1T), Liam Mahon (4C 2P)

Next up for the Vikes was a game against the University of Brisbane, and it was another game that went right down to the wire.

As befitting two university teams, this game began at a brisk pace and it was obvious early on that two games in three days was going to test the Vikes squad severely.

After a cloudy day in Surfers Paradise, the evening at the university was clear and extremely warm. Stamina was going to be a key factor.

That being said, the team had good energy and were once again led out by team captain James Pitblado.

The general pace of the game was fast and it was an end-to-end match. The forwards offered a good platform for the Vikes backs and on at least two occasions the team just failed to convert on good opportunities.

In the second half the Vikes missed three penalty opportunities, which could have sealed a win.

Late in the game the Brisbane team got a red card for a vicious high tackle but at that point, the time had nearly expired and there wasn’t much of an opportunity for the Vikes.

It was a disappointing result for the Vikes who scored two great tries that went the length of the field. Two costly mistakes and breakaway tries helped Brisbane secure their win.

“Obviously we are disappointed to let this game slip from our grasp but we did some really good things out there tonight,” said Tate. “I was pleased with our defence for the most part and we ran hard on attack. Those two errors cost us and were unfortunate as we were attacking their goal line at the time.”

“But overall I’d have to say our guys gained some valuable experience that they can take forward when we get home and back into league play.”

1        2           F
UVIC       14       0         14
UB          15        5         20

Casey Reed (1T), Jeff Nishima-Miller (1T), Liam Mahon (2C)