Vikes sweep first tournament of Canada West 7s season in convincing fashion

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EDMONTON – The University of Victoria Vikes scored 35 unanswered points, including 21 in the second half, as they captured the 2018 University of Alberta Rugby 7s tournament with a 35-7 win over the Lethbridge Pronghorns, Sunday night in The Dome at Foote Field.

The Vikes completed a perfect 6-0 record at the tournament, including the convincing win over Lethbridge in the first place match. Lethbridge finished second with a 3-2-1 record, while the Calgary Dinos scored a last-second try against the UBC Thunderbirds to capture third place with a 21-17 win.

“We really infected some energy into our game in the second half. We added a couple substitutes for the second, and it injected some pace back into our game.” said first-year Vike Paige Farries, who led the tournament with 14 tries, which set a new single-season rugby 7s record. “The Vikes really make you buy into their program. They have an incredible work rate, so it makes you want to work incredibly hard. You want to work hard for your teammates every time you take the field.”

Entering as the heavy favourite in the first place match, Victoria fell behind early to Lethbridge, allowing a try in the first minute. However, the Vikes answered back with a converted try from Farries two minutes later, and didn’t look back, scoring once more in the first half, and adding another three tries in the second half. The win was the second for Victoria over Lethbridge, coupled with a 42-14 win the previous day.

“I think when the Vikes play calm rugby, we play good rugby. Every team here in Canada West is on the way up, and we just happened to be the best team this week,” continued Farries, who scored three of the Vikes five tries in the final. “But we will have to keep improving if we want to replicate this success next tournament. Canada West rugby has never been so strong.”

Victoria also went undefeated last year in Edmonton, capturing the inaugural Canada West Rugby 7s Series tournament with a matching 6-0 record.

Calgary fell behind 17-14 to UBC in the final minute of their third place match, before Breanne Morgan scored her first try of the game with no time left, lifting the Dinos into the bronze medal spot. The Dinos finished with a 3-2-1 record, avenging their 26-14 loss to UBC on Saturday with the thrilling come-from-behind win in the third place match on Sunday.

The host Alberta Pandas defeated the Fraser Valley Cascades for the second time on Sunday in the fifth place match, finishing their tournament with a 2-4 record after a 52-0 win over UFV. The Pandas outscored the Cascades 104-5 in their two matches, but were unable to beat any other team in the tournament.

The Canada West Rugby 7s series will now head to Abbotsford, B.C. February 10th and 11th, as the Fraser Valley Cascades host the second of three tournaments this season.

Game 10: Victoria Vikes (26) vs. UBC Thunderbirds (7) 

Scoring summary:
VIC: 14-12: 26
UBC: 7-0: 7

VIC try – #5 Emily Belchos (#9 Kara Galbraith Convert) – 7-0
UBC try – #4 Brooke Bazian (#4 Brooke Bazian Convert) – 7-7
VIC try – #5 Emily Belchos (#9 Kara Galbraith Convert) – 14-7

Half-time

VIC try – #4 Paige Farries (Convert missed) – 19-7
VIC try – #6 Madeleine Graham (#9 Kara Galbraith Convert) – 26-7

Game 15: Alberta Pandas (5) vs. Victoria Vikes (20) 

Scoring summary:
ALB: 0-5: 5
VIC: 15-5: 20

VIC try – #5 Emily Belchos (Convert missed) – 5-0
VIC try – #5 Emily Belchos (Convert missed) – 10-0
VIC try – #10 Jess Neilson (Convert missed) – 15-0

Half-time

ALB try – #11 Jamie Braybrook (Convert missed) – 15-5
VIC try – #10 Jess Neilson (Convert missed) – 20-5

First Place Match: Victoria Vikes (35) vs. Lethbridge Pronghorns (7) 

Scoring summary:
VIC: 14-21: 35
LET: 7-0: 7

LET try – #6 Brittany Orr (#5 Hannah Lopez Convert) – 7-0
VIC try – #4 Paige Farries (#9 Kara Galbraith Convert) – 7-7
VIC try – #4 Paige Farries (#9 Kara Galbraith Convert) – 14-7

Half-time

VIC try – #12 Julia Folk (#9 Kara Galbraith Convert) – 21-7
VIC try – #10 Jess Neilson (#9 Kara Galbraith Convert) – 28-7
VIC try – #4 Paige Farries (#9 Kara Galbraith Convert) – 35-7

Tournament standings
W        L          T          Pts.
VIC      6          0          0          24
LET      3          2          1          16
CGY     3          2          1          16
UBC     3          3          0          15
ALB     2          4          0          12
UBC     0          6          0          6

NOTE: Teams are awarded 4 pts. for a win, 2 pts. for a draw, and 1 pt. for a loss.

Overall series standings

Pts.

VIC           10
LET            8
CGY           6
UBC           4
ALB            2
UFV            1             

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