LANGFORD, B.C. – Two teams traveled to the 2017 Canadian University Sevens Championship on behalf of the University of Victoria’s men’s rugby program and both came away with medals, as the Vikes won silver and the Norsemen took home bronze.
“Second and third and the women won so it’s a good day for UVic,” said Vikes head coach Doug Tate.
The Vikes came within a game of winning their fifth straight national title on Saturday before falling to the UBC Thunderbirds 19-5 in the final. The 19 points put up by the Thunderbirds were the first that the Vikes allowed all weekend after outscoring their opponents 185-0 through their first five games of the tournament.
But a strong UBC team had UVic’s number, and their victory in the final earned the program their first ever national title.
“That’s a good UBC team,” said Tate. “The half time score was tight. We had two opportunities in the first half inside their 10-metre line and we didn’t score and we had another opportunity down in the corner and we didn’t get it in.
“You’re only going to get two or three chances against a good team to score and they took theirs. Credit to them. We just missed out on a few good opportunities.”
Gradyn Bowd led the Vikes with 48 points through six games on the strength of four tries and 14 converts. Aidan McMillan was next with 40 points on eight tries, followed by Fergus hall with 20 points on four tries.
Luke Bradley, Jonathan Lorimer, Ollie Nott, James Pitblado, and Kapi Vataiki all had 15 points on three tries while Guiseppe Du Toit added 15 on a try and five converts.
The Norsemen impressed all weekend, going 3-0 on Day 1 with victories over Alberta, Trent and Saskatchewan. They came out strong with a 38-7 victory over UBCO in the quarter-finals before falling to eventual winners UBC in the semifinals.
Victoria’s second team finished on a high note, beating Alberta 34-0 for bronze.
“The Norsemen played well,” said Tate. “They were a bit out-gunned by UBC but I thought they played well.
“At the end of the day we were stretched pretty thin today but it was a good game of sevens.”
Darrin Morrison led the Norsemen with 46 points on eight tries and three converts, followed by Cathal Long with 25 points on five tries.