VICTORIA – The University of Victoria Vikes men’s rugby team fell 33-22 to James Bay in BC Rugby Premier action across town at Macdonald Park on Dec. 2 to play their second-to-last game of 2017.
The return of two Canadian national team players from the November Test Series in Europe, lock Conor Keys and centre Guiseppe du Toit, was a much-needed boost to the young Vikes squad and certainly helped the team which has several key players still on the injury list.
Despite the rain most of the week Macdonald Park was playable but still slippery and both sides struggled to keep their footing during the game.
After four minutes fly-half Grady Bowd broke through the James Bay backline and scored the Vikes’ first try, which he converted himself.
Shortly after, a tactical error by the Vikes allowed the hosts good field position and they scored after several phases of play.
“This has pretty much summed up our first half of the seaso,” said Doug Tate, Vikes men’s rugby head coach. “We score a nice try and then come unraveled by either a tactical error or an individual mistake and we pay for it. It’s pretty frustrating.”
Fullback Brennig Prevost scored next for the Vikes as he slipped off several tackles and crossed the line for the Vikes. Bowd converted once again.
Continuing the same story, James Bay came storming back after several poor decisions by the Vikes which lead directly to tries and at half-time it was 22 – 17 for the Bays.
In the second half Bowd got a penalty and Cathal Long scored a try out wide which Bowd could not convert. That ended the scoring for the Vikes but not for the hosts who kept punishing the Vikes errors and turning them into points.
Mid way through the second half the Vikes stood their ground at their own goal-line as James Bay put together several physical assaults at the try line – in the end the field conditions got the better of the young Vikes team who simply could not hold out the bigger James Bay forwards.
The final score was 32 – 22 for James Bay.
“We must stop these unforced errors that continually put us behind on the score sheet,” added Tate. “Mistakes on the field have consequences. There were a lot of good things happening for us on the pitch today against a very big, physical James Bay Team but until we tidy up these errors which lead directly to points against us then we will continue to struggle.”
Next weekend, Dec. 2, the Vikes wrap up the 2017 portion of their season as they host Seattle Rugby Club at Wallace Field.
Grady Bowd – Try;
Brennig Prevost – Try;
Cathal Long – Try;
Grady Bowd – 2 conversions; 1 penalty
Vikes Team: Macbryan Bos; Carter White; Alex McAra; Brice Bowstock; Conor Keys; Tyler Wong; Jesse Burns; Karl Mattison; Matt Gallagher; Grady Bowd; Logan Martin-Feek; Guiseppe du Toit; Cathal Long; Jack McCarthy; Brennig Prevost