VICTORIA – It was all Vikes all the time as the University of Victoria men’s rugby team found the try line at will in their 71-20 victory over Westshore Rugby Club at Wallace Field on March 24.
The win was the fifth in a row for a Vikes team that is almost unrecognizable from how they looked during a 3-9 start to their season.
“We are playing well,” said Vikes head coach Doug Tate. “We are playing much more physical at the breakdown and with the ball in our hands, we are putting teams under a lot of pressure and then we just have too much speed for them to handle.”
With the playoffs just three games away, the win was extremely important for a team that is currently locked in a four-way battle over the two remaining playoff spots.
Aidan McMullan and James Pitblado were the only Vikes to score more than one try on the day, as eight different players found a way to get their names on the score sheet in what was a relentless onslaught of attacking rugby from the Vikes.
McMullan, a first-year winger from Montreal, Que. was outstanding throughout the game, setting up two tries and scoring three more as the speedster looked likely to score a try with nearly every touch of the ball.
“He had a great day, that is the best I have seen him play for UVic,” said Tate. “He’s a dangerous player, has a lot of speed and was playing against a very good winger for Westshore today.”
Pitblado recorded two tries in the first half as the Vikes were able to rotate eight players onto the field during the second half after the game was well in hand.
Prevost added an outstanding eight conversions to go along with those tries. Dealing with some heavy wind the second-year Vike was unflappable in the kicking game all day long.
Next up for the Vikes is a trip south of the border where they will take on the Seattle Rugby Club on March 31. The Vikes will be hoping their streak of five-straight victories will carry over into next weekend in what will be an extremely crucial match for the playoff hopes of both teams.
“We have to go down there and deal with a very big and physical team,” said Tate. “If we continue playing like this though, they are going to have to try and chase us around the field.”
1st 2nd F
VIC: 40 31 71
WES: 3 17 20