UVic Vikes End UBC's Reign as University Champions with 21-20 Victory
It's a bit ironic that two BC university rugby programs about 100 kms apart who play regularly against each other in the BC Premier league had to travel over 4,000 kms to the frozen fields of Concordia University in Montreal to decide the national university championship. It was the same scenario in 2017 in Guelph and may be repeated next year in Kingston. It's the way the system works as there are more rugby playing universities in the Ontario/Quebec region.
The final match was an exciting affair, UBC as two time defending champions were going in as favourites. They had dispatched Brock and Concordia on the way to the final. UVic, who came 2nd in 2017 and 3rd in 2018, had defeated UNB and Queen's on their way to the final.
UBC started quickly with a try four minutes in, UVic had overthrown their lineout and UBC picked it up. The UBC pass out wide didn't go to hand but bounced off the ground and fullback Dan Archer alertly picked it up, sold a dummy and scampered in for the try. The try was unconverted and that would prove costly as UVic kicker, Jenner Teufel, hit all his conversions in the one point game.
UBC struck again at 15 minutes when Nick Allen beat the UVic defence from a #8 pickup from the scrum. He found acres of space between the #7 and #10 and scampered down the field, it was fitting that several phases later he was the one who dove over for the try. He was selected as the All Star team #8 and plays like that would have drawn selectors' attention. The try was converted and it was now 12-0 for UBC and a 3-peat seemed on the cards.
UVic embedded themselves inside the UBC 10 metres with 8 minutes remaining and UBC were piling up the penalties taking down the maul illegally. They received a yellow and UVic chose the scrum with a man advantage in the pack. After several phases James O'Neill gets the ball and puts a step on the defender and goes under the posts, it's now 12-7 and 6 minutes left. UVic again get back inside the UBC 10 metres and take their time with pick and go forward play. James O'Neill gets his second try with a strong push from the loosehead prop driving him over the line. UVic go into the half ahead 14-12 and it's anyone's game.
UBC regather the lead midway through the second half with a Jack Scher penalty goal, 15-14 for UBC. The Vikes hit back a few minutes later with a try by #8 Nick Carson as he dives over from a ruck, it's converted, 21-15 Vikes and 13 minutes left to play. Evan Norris scored in the corner as time expired and it was now left in the hands of the UBC kicker to decided the winner, it was a difficult kick from the sideline and it sailed just left of the post. UVic celebrated and UBC hung their heads in disbelief. It was momentary though as the players congratulated each other post game and prepared for the long flight back to BC.
A well played game by both BC sides, UBC have had the better of UVic in league play but congrats to the Vikes for upping their intensity for this match and taking home the title.
The Concordia live streaming and website were well done, a couple of suggestions for next year's host. Post the match lineups for the teams with jersey numbers, not just the tournament rosters. The commentators often referred to "players" instead of the player's name, not sure if they had the lineups in front of them but those viewing online certainly didn't have them. Also the field level camera was distracting, there was a slight delay during the switch. Stick to the elevated camera for most of the match and only use the field level camera for enhancements, it felt like it was on a random timer going back and forth.
The full match can be viewed here.
The scoring summary and 1st and 2nd All Star teams are listed below.
The event is made possible due to the major sponsors Langara Fishing Lodge, Toronto Arrows and Canadian Rugby Foundation.
VIC: 14 7 21
UBC: 12 8 20
05’ – UBC – Try – Dan Archer (Convert missed) 5-0
15’ – UBC – Try – Nick Allen (Convert Jack Scher) 12-0
25’ – VIC – Try – James O’Neill (Convert Jenner Teufel) 12-7
29’ – VIC – Try – James O’Neill (Convert Jenner Teufel) 14-12
49’ – UBC – PG – Jack Scher 15-14
51’ – VIC – Try – Nick Carson (Convert Jenner Teufel) 21-15
60’ – UBC– Try – Evan Norris (Convert missed) 21-20
VIC – James O’Neill
UBC – Mike Smith
1st Team All Stars
1. Guerscham Mukendi Guelph
2. Michael Laplaine-Pereira Concordia
3. Bryce Worden UBC
4. Michael Nwabufo McGill
5. Benjamin Newhook Victoria
6. Don Carson UBC
7. James O'Neill Victoria
8. Nick Allen UBC
9. Dylan Young Queen's
10. Logan Martin-Feek Victoria
11. Thomas Goetz Concordia
12. Aidan McMullan Concordia
13. Mitchell Santilli Brock
14. Evan Underwood Queen's
15. Colin Lynch Guelph
2nd Team All Stars
1. Stefan Zuliani Queen's
2. Connor Sampson UBC
3. Spencer Cooper Victoria
4. Frank Carson UBC
5. Mike Stewart UNB
6. Zacharias Zorbas Brock
7. Owain Ruttan UBC
8. Nicholas Carson Victoria
9. Fraser Hurst UBC
10. Steven Commerford Brock
11. Darien Hewey Guelph
12. Flynn Heyes UBC
13. Colm Quirke Queen's
14. Victory Eichie Brock
15. Benjamin Russell McGill
UBC and UVic Advance to Championship Match in Montreal on Sunday
It's a rematch of the 2017 final with UBC and UVic battling it out for the title. UBC will be looking for their 3rd straight title. In 2017 they defeated UVic 37-12 to win gold. On that 2017 UBC team were Theo Sauder, Will Percillier, Clint Lemkus, Jake Ikeda, Nathan Rees, Cole Keffer and Fraser Hurst, all who made the tournament all star team. The 2017 UVic team placed James O'Neill and Aiden McMullen on the all star team. James O'Neill is still with UVic while Aiden McMullen is now with the Concordia Stingers.
Both matches were close, UVic taking down the higher ranked Ontario champions, Queen's, 14-8 with tries by Logan Martin-Feek and Jonas Robinson. Queen's boycotted the 2017 tournament at Guelph and came second in 2018 in Victoria. They'll play for 3rd/4th in 2019 and host in 2020. UVic were 2nd in 2017, 3rd in 2018 and either 1st or 2nd in 2019. The other match saw UBC struggle to get by a resilient home team, Concordia, 22-18. UBC tries were by Nick Frost (2) and Liam Doll. Concordia are one of the most improved teams at the tournament, they didn't make the final four in 2017, came 4th in 2018 and are battling for 3rd/4th in 2019.
The championship site with video links is here.
Victoria 14, Queen’s 8
35’ – VIC – Try – Logan Martin-Feek (Convert Jenner Teufel) 7-0
41’ – QUE – Try – Joshua Engelbrecht (Convert missed) 7-5
53’ – VIC – Try – Jonas Robinson (Convert Teufel) 14-5
59’ – QUE – PK – Dylan Young 14-8
QUE – Dylan Young
VIC – Logan Martin-Feek
UBC 22, Concordia 18
05’ – UBC – Try – Nick Frost (Convert missed) 5-0
13’ – UBC – Try – Liam Doll (Convert Jack Scher) 12-0
22’ – CON – PG – Aidan McMullan 12-3
34’ – CON – Try – Thomas Goetz (Convert McMullan) 12-10
40’ – CON – PG – Aidan McMullan 13-12
53’ – UBC – Try – Nick Frost (Convert Harrison Smith) 19-13
59’ – UBC – PG - Harrison Smith 22-13
60’ – CON – Try - Aidan McMullan (Convert missed) 22-18
CON – Thomas Goetz
UBC – Nick Allen
UBC and UVic Through to Semi-Finals in Rematches of 2018: MATCH VIDEOS
It's looking like 2018 all over again as UVic and UBC advance to the semis against the same opponents as last year. The question this year is will the semis return different results. Last year Queen's defeated UVic and UBC defeated Concordia with UBC edging Queen's in the final. UVic will be hoping to get back to their 2017 form when they made the final against UBC while UBC will be looking for the 3-peat.
In today's action UVic took care of UNB 48-0, scoring for UVic were:
03’ – VIC – Try – Jenner Teuful (Convert missed) 5-0
10’ – VIC – Try – James O’Neill (Convert Teuful) 12-0
19’ – VIC – Try – James O’Neill (Convert Teuful) 19-0
22’ – VIC – Try – Noah Bain (Convert Teuful) 26-0
34’ – VIC – Try – Andrew Easson (Convert missed) 31-0
50’ – VIC – Try – Liam Morrison (Convert missed) 36-0
54’ – VIC – Try – Liam Morrison (Convert missed) 41-0
60’ – VIC – Try – James O’Neill (Convert Teuful) 48-0
VIC – James O’Neill
UNB – Nikolas Wood Match Video
UBC won their match against Guelph 56-10, scoring for UBC were:
01’ – UBC – Try – Mike Smith (Convert Jack Scher) 7-0
11’ – UBC – Try – Jack Scher (Convert Scher) 14-0
13’ – UBC – Try – Connor Byron (Convert Scher) 21-0
15’ – UBC – Try – Don Carson (Convert Scher) 28-0
18’ – UBC – Try – Owain Ruttan (Convert Scher) 35-0
27’ – BRK – Penalty Goal –Steven Commerford 35-3
40’ – UBC – Try – Dan Archer (Convert Scher) 42-0
46’ – BRK – Try – Cillian O’Brien (Convert Carter Bondy) 42-10
54’ – UBC – Try – Nick Allen (Convert Scher) 49-10
59’ – UBC – Try – Flynn Heyes (Convert Scher) 56-10
UBC – Don Carson
BRK – Adam Melia Match Video
In other action Queen's defeated McGill 36-10 and Concordia squeezed past Guelph 10-7. The weather was frigid with rain turning to snow as the sun went down, it made expansive rugby difficult to play and handling errors were plentiful.
On Thursday the consolation semis will be played and then Friday the Cup semis with Vikes v Queen's at 9am PT and UBC v Concordia at 11:30am PT.