VICTORIA – The University of Victoria women’s rugby team continued to make history as they hit their program’s highest win margin for the second-straight time after their Sept. 24 win over UBC by 82-0. The dominating victory sits the Vikes up 2-0 in Canada West regular season play, while the T-Birds fall to 1-1 in the five-team round-robin season.
Third-year Vike Maddy Aberg led the Vikes with four tries, while Maddy Graham had three and Jess Neilson had one try and five converts. The Vikes also picked up points from try-finishers Jenn Appleby, Emily Belchos and Kara Galbraith.
“Honestly it’s hard to choose one person that stood out today,” said Brittany Waters, Vikes head coach. “I think everyone stepped up and that’s what is making us so successful this year. Everyone is doing their role which makes almost every try a team try.”
It didn’t take long for the Vikes to pick up where they left off from last weekend when they dropped the Alberta Pandas 82-0. In the second minute of play Appleby forced her way through the T-Birds to open the scoring, while Jess Neilson‘s convert was good for a quick 7-0 lead. Neilson’s run in the 5th minute of play freed up space on the right side and she fed Belchos for the Vikes’ second try. Before the 15-minute mark the Vikes put up two more tries, both from Aberg for a 24-0 Victoria lead.
The home field continued to slant in the Vikes’ favour as Belchos‘ long run earned the Vikes their fifth try. Neilson kicked her third convert of the game for a 31-0 Victoria lead.
In the 24th minute the Vikes scored off a great team effort as Belchos made a strong run forward and fed Sya Trafford up the right side. A nice dish to Graham allowed the fourth year to seal the Vikes’ sixth try, now up 36-0.
Despite the score margin the UBC back line made some strong runs but turnovers plagued any further forward momentum. Fly-half Mackenzie Carson provided some good strength through the middle but the T-Birds were unable to match the Vikes’ defensive line and pressure.
The Vikes extended their lead in the 27th minute when Graham flew down the wing, out-running the Thunderbirds for half the length of the pitch for a 41-0 Vikes lead.
A quick play off a penalty allowed the Vikes to move the ball left and find Kara Galbraith who dove over the try line in the 32nd minute. Neilson made the convert for a 48-0 lead.
UBC’s Alayna Scramstad crafted her way through a crowd of Vikes and had a nice hand off to Sarah Klok before Trafford tackled her to the ground. The Thunderbirds were unable to maintain possession and the score remained 48-0 at half.
UBC started the second half with a good offensive run sparked by Hera Sfikas, who moved the ball to Rachel Choboter. The T-Birds continued to stitch together some nice passes to near the try line on the left side of the field but some stingy Vikes defence denied a scoring chance. The Vikes quickly transitioned up their left side and a long run from Aberg opened a wide channel to run. UBC closed the space and Aberg had to feed it to Trafford but just before the line Trafford slipped the ball to Graham for her third try of the game.
Aberg added another try in the 46th minute down the left side. UBC did well to hold the Vikes to the outside as Neilson missed her sixth conversion and the scored was held at 58-0. Three minutes later Aberg added her fourth try after a perfect give-and-go play with fourth-year Vike Julia Folk. The seemingly effortless run put the home side up 63-0.
Neilson added a try and made the convert in the 53rd minute but the stretch after this saw possession favour UBC. Fresh legs gave the T-Birds a boost as Elizabeth Theemes Golding seemed to give the Vikes some trouble down their right side.
It wasn’t until the 75th minute that second-half substitute Ashah Payson charged down the right side completing the long run for the Vikes’ 13th try. The try came following a 22 minute period of not scoring but did advance Victoria’s lead to 75-0. Galbraith added a try just before the final whistle and completed the conversion for a final score of 82-0 for Victoria.
“Truly a disappointing loss to be honest,” commented Maria Gallo, UBC women’s rugby head coach. “We didn’t do the basic skills. As far as defence is concerned we got off the line quick but then we didn’t tackle and when we did tackle it was always a two-man tackle which leads to an overlap on the outside. UVic looks sharp. They look prepared and they wanted the ball and we just didn’t come here to compete for the ball.”
Up next the Vikes will turn around to host their third-straight game at Wallace Field on Sept. 29 against Lethbridge. The Thunderbirds will regroup to host Lethbridge on Oct. 1.
1st 2nd Final
UVIC: 48 34 82
UBC: 0 0 0
2′ TRY #1 Jennifer Appleby, convert #10 Jess Neilson
5′ TRY #12 Emily Belchos, convert missed
7′ TRY #14 Madison Aberg, convert #10 Jess Neilson
14′ TRY #14 Madison Aberg, convert missed
19′ TRY #12 Emily Belchos, convert #10 Jess Neilson
24′ TRY #11 Madeleine Graham, convert missed
27′ TRY #11 Madeleine Graham, convert missed
32′ TRY #15 Kara Galbraith, convert #10 Jess Neilson
43′ TRY #11 Madeleine Graham, convert missed
46′ TRY #14 Madison Aberg, convert missed
49′ TRY #14 Madison Aberg, convert missed
53′ TRY #10 Jess Neilson, convert #10 Jess Neilson
75′ TRY #23 Ashah Payson, convert missed
79′ TRY #15 Kara Galbraith, convert #15 Kara Galbraith