VICTORIA- The University of Victoria Vikes women’s rugby team pushed the ball over the goal line in 79thminute to secure a 10-5 victory over the UBC Thunderbirds on Sept.30that Wallace Field. Both teams battled the wet conditions all afternoon but it was Vike forward Kelsey McKinnon who touched the ball down for the Vikes in the dying minutes of the match to give Victoria the win.
This match held extra value for the two schools as it counted towards both the Canada West standings and the newly formed rivalry series, the Legends Cup. With the Vikes victory, UBC remains ahead in the series, up 5-3.
“Both sides showed excellent displays of defence today,” said Vikes head coach Brittany Waters. “We played with a chip on our shoulder after losing to UBC the last time we played them, the whole team showed their dedication to want to win this one.”
The games low score can be credited to the rain and wet field conditions. Both teams struggled to maintain the ball for any length of time before turning it over to the opposition. UBC dominated in ball possession but couldn’t convert on any of their opportunities until late in the match.
“In weather like this you expect more knock ons and scrums but we need to be better at dealing with conditions like today,” said UBC head coach Dean Murten, in his first year as the full time head coach of the Thunderbirds. “ I’m disappointed we were unable to capitalize on a lot of our chances but the positives we can take from this game is the fact we still were getting the ball to the dangerous areas of the field.”
After today’s game, the Vikes and Thunderbirds both sit even in the Canada West standings with records of 2-2.
UBC carried the play for the majority of the first half but too many knock ons in key areas of the field killed their chances to strike early. Victoria spent the majority of the first half defending and were also haunted by the wet conditions. The Vikes were forced to make a strong defensive stand on their goal line late in the first half to keep UBC of the board before the half time break.
Vikes scrum half Sasha Guedes picked the ball out of the back of a UVic scrum deep inside Thunderbird territory and scored to give her team a 5-0 lead early in the second half. UBC winger Viv Johnson scored in the corner in the 70thminute to tie the game up at 5-5. Shortly after returning to the field from her yellow card penalty, Vikes forward Kelsey McKinnon muscled her way over the UBC goal line, giving the Vikes the eventual 10-5 victory.
The Vikes will enjoy a bye week over the Thanksgiving weekend before they finish up their regular season schedule against the Alberta Pandas on Oct.14 at Wallace Field in Victoria. The Thunderbirds next game with be against the same Alberta Pandas on Oct.12 in Vancouver.
VIC 0-10 10
UBC 0-5 5
46’ – UVic TRY – Sasha Guedes (convert missed) – UVic 5-0
71’ – UBC TRY – Viv Johnson (convert missed) – Tie 5-5
79’ – UVIC TRY – Kelsey McKinnon (convert missed) – UVic 10-5
68’ – UVic Yellow Card – Kelsey McKinnon