Vikes can’t hold off late ‘Lomas push, fall 31-26

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VICTORIA – Through 79 minutes and 30 seconds of action it looked like the UVic Vikes men’s rugby team was well on their way to their second win of the season but it wasn’t meant to be. Two late tries, one with just 30 seconds left on the clock, by the Meralomas gave the team from Vancouver the come from behind 31-26 victory on Oct. 14.

Fifth-year Vike James Pitblado scored two tries in the loss while Aaron Hersant was good on three conversions. Noah Bain and Spencer Cooper rounded out the scoring for the home team with one try each.

“We just aren’t playing well enough,” said Vikes head coach Doug Tate. “We have over ten guys out of the lineup for different reasons and it shows. We played without the ball for the last twenty minutes and that played right into their hands.”

Things started off well for the Vikes as the team dominated possession throughout the first fifteen minutes. After being stopped short right of the try line multiple times by a stiff ‘Lomas defence, Pitblado was finally able to open the scoring in the game by diving over the line.

After the ‘Lomas responded with a try of their own, the teams seemed destined to head into the halftime break all tied up, until first-year Vike Logan Martin-Feek went on an amazing run. Bursting up the field and evading several ‘Lomas defenders, Martin-Feek was able to offload the ball to a streaking Noah Bain who did the rest of the work to send the Vikes into the break up 12-7.

After the ‘Lomas evened the game back up almost immediately after the start of the second half, Pitblado scored his second try of the game, this time through a great individual effort.

Pitblado snagged a wayward ‘Lomas pass out of the air and sprinted over half of the length of the field for the try.

A try from Spencer Cooper in the 61st minute seemed to be enough to give the Vikes the win before the ‘Lomas took over for the final ten minutes of play.

“It’s unfortunate, we had that game and we should have put that game away, possession is everything and we don’t kick the ball well enough to play like that,” said Tate. “We also made some mistakes and panicked with the ball a bit, we made young player mistakes.”

Scoring two tries in the final five minutes of the game the visitors from Vancouver were able to maintain possession of the ball and deny the Vikes the win.

FINAL SCORE:
1st    2nd   Final
Vikes:              12     14     26
Meralomas:      7       24    31

SCORERS
James Pitblado (2T), Aaron Hersant (3C), Noah Bain (1T), Spencer Cooper (1T)

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