UBC defeated Queen’s to capture Spence McTavish Cup for second-straight year and tournament hosts Vikes came from behind to steal bronze from Concordia.
Gold Medal Recap
For the second-straight year the UBC Thunderbirds captured the Spence McTavish Cup after a 21-10 victory over the Queen’s Gaels in the final of the Canadian University Men’s Rugby Championship presented by title sponsors, Victoria Mitsubishi and Carson Automotive Group, and corporate sponsors Pemberton Holmes Ltd. and the Canadian Rugby Foundation at Centennial Stadium in Victoria on Nov. 25.
“It was a tough game out there today,” said UBC head coach Curry Hitchborn in his first official year as head coach of the T-Birds. “Queen’s was remarkably well structured, extremely well disciplined and played their brand of rugby better than anyone else in country coming into this tournament. We knew we had to rely on our own self-discipline if we were going to compete today, which at times we didn’t. They made us pay at times for our mistakes but I am proud of every single one of our players efforts today.”
It took until the 44th minute for the Thunderbirds to score the first try and take the lead over Queen’s and never looked back from there.
“The momentum swung back in their favour once we let their forwards get back into the game,” said Queen’s head coach Dave Butcher. “We knew coming in the game they had a very strong forward pack and you saw it when they executed two driving line outs deep in our half. Those two moments really killed the game for us.”
It was a first half dominated by defence from both sides but Queen’s had the first opportunity to get on the board. Winger James Macdonald found fullback Lachlan Devir with a pop pass along the sidelines, Lachlan spirited 20-metres down the pitch but was caught by UBC fullback Cole Keffer just in time saving a try.
The Gaels finally broke the deadlock in the 22nd minute when flanker and former UBCOB Raven Trevor Helgason powered his way over the line after Queen’s patiently drove up the field. UBC looked to answer just minutes later but the Gaels forced a turnover just 1-metre away from their own goal line getting themselves out of trouble. With points hard to come by in the first half, the Thunderbirds settled with a penalty kick successfully made by scrum half William McDougall- Percillier in the 29th minute to go into the half time break down 7-3 to Queen’s.
McDougall-Percillier used the same boot for a second penalty goal in the 37th minute to pull the T-birds to within one of the Gaels but Queen’s answered back with three more points of their own off the foot of Dylan Young for a 10-6 lead.
The Thunderbirds wrestled the lead away from the Gaels in the 44th minute when a driving maul formed on the Queen’s 5-metre line and touched down by prop Joe Sourisseau. Just five minutes later, the T-birds once again formed a maul just a few metres away from the Queen’s goal line and it was Cole Keffer who put a beautiful step on Gaels winger Sam Ibbotson to score the try.
Down two scores and in desperate need of a try the Gaels Macdonald shot up and picked off a pass intended for UBC winger Elias Ergas but a knock on from Queen’s a few moments later would put the ball back in the hands of UBC up 18-10 with less than 10 minutes to play.
McDougall Percillier put the finishing touches on the UBC victory with a penalty kick in the 58th minute to seal the gold medal for the Thunderbirds and capture the Spence McTavish Cup for the second straight year. The 21-10 victory was capped off by the fact that eight T-Birds were named to the Championship XV – Nick Frost, Connor Sampson, Cali Martinez, James Carson, Nick Carson, Michael Smith, William MacDougall-Percillier and Elias Ergas. For Queen’s Sam Ibbotson and Cully Quirke were also named to the team.
UBC: #8 Nick Allen, #12 Flynn Heyes
QUE: #1 Pat Lynott, #9 Dylan Young
1 2 F
UBC: 3 18 21
QUE: 7 3 10
22’: QUE Try- #6 Trevor Helgason (Convert Dylan Young) 7-0 QUE
29’: UBC Penalty Goal- #9 William McDougall-Percillier 7-3 QUE
37’: UBC Penalty Goal- #9 William McDougall-Percillier 7-6 QUE
41’: QUE Penalty Goal- #9 Dylan Young 10-6 QUE
44’: UBC Try- #17 Joe Sourisseau (Convert William McDougall-Percillier) 13-10 UBC
49’: UBC Try- #15 Cole Keffer (Convert Missed) 18-10 UBC
58’: UBC Penalty Goal- #9 William McDougall-Percillier 21-10 UBC
Bronze Medal Recap
The University of Victoria Vikes men's rugby team score four tries in the second half to come from behind to beat the Concordia Stingers to claim the bronze medal at the Canadian University Men's Rugby Championship.
The Vikes were down 21-5 at half time and thanks to Victoria fullback Brennig Prevost were able to get back in the game. Provost showed off his impressive footwork in the 51st minute, making a show past four Stingers defenders, while he raced 65-metres down the pitch to secure the comeback and score what proved to be the game-winning try.
"We stuck with it today," stated Vikes head coach Doug Tate, whose team finished as silver medals in 2017. "It took until the second half for our players to step it up and show the talent we have. However, we were lucky to comeback after letting a team like Concordia get up on us."
A yellow card taken in the 37th minute by Concordia captain Lucas Hotton seemed to give the Vikes the spark they needed to mount the comeback.
"UVic made us pay for every mistake we made in the second half today," said Stingers head coach Craig Beemer. "We took a yellow card and that resulted in two tries and we started chasing the game from there."
After a Victoria penalty put the ball in the hands of the Stingers, the Vikes stole the ball back in the lineout following the kick for touch and a few phases later Vikes centre Jonas Robinson hit flanker Ollie Nott with a pass on the wing and the fifth-year dove over the line for the games first score in the 10th minute.
The Stingers answered back in the 17th minute with a try of their own. With the ball in Concordia hands for a scrum just 5-metres out from the Vikes goal line, centre Charles Debove received a pass off the scrum and popped a pass back inside to a streaking Jonathan Banks for the try.
In the dying moments of the opening half, Victoria coughed up the ball inside their 22-metre line for Stingers centre Thomas Goetz. Goetz sliced through two Victoria defenders and jogged in for the try under the posts to give Concordia a 21-5 lead at half time.
Stingers flanker Michael Laplaine-Pereira increased the lead for Concordia to 21-5 over the Vikes early in the second half. Laplaine-Pereira found a gap for off the fringes off a ruck and evaded two tackles to get over the line.
In the 37th minute a yellow card was given to captain Lucas Hotton and it proved costly for the visitors. A momentum change was on the horizon while Hotton was in the sin bin and No.8 and Saskatchewan native Carson O'Sullivan powered his way over the line to pull the Vikes back within two scores.
Eight minutes later, former Canada under 20 captain James O'Neill pushed his way over the line, scoring in similar fashion to O'Sullivan. From his inside half, fullback Prevost had a couple of nice steps and dashed 65-metres for game-winning score. Nott added his second try of the game in the 59th minute and Bowd kicked a penalty goal to complete the 34-21 victory and salvage a bronze medal for the hosts Victoria.
Following the game forward Ollie Nott and Brennig Prevost were named the game MVPs for Victoria, while Julian Alexander and Charles Debove got the nod for Concordia.
VIC: #15 Brennig Prevost, #7 Ollie Nott
CON: #1 Julian Alexander, #12 Charles Debove
1 2 F
VIC: 5 29 34
CON: 14 7 21
10': VIC Try- #7 Ollie Nott (Convert Missed) 5-0 VIC
17': CON Try- #15 Jonathan Banks (Convert Jonathan Banks) 7-5 CON
30': CON Try- #13 Thomas Goetz (Convert Jonathan Banks) 14-5 CON
33': CON Try- #7 Michael Laplaine-Pereira (Convert Jonathan Banks) 21-5 CON
37': CON Yellow Card- #8 Lucas Hotton
39': VIC Try- #8 Carson O'Sullivan (Convert Gradyn Bowd) 21-12 CON
47': VIC Try- #6 James O'Neill (Convert Gradyn Bowd) 21-19 CON
51': VIC Try- #15 Brennig Prevost (Convert Missed) 24-21 VIC
59': VIC Try- #7 Ollie Nott (Convert Gradyn Bowd) 31-21
60': VIC Penalty Goal- #10 Gradyn Bowd 34-21 VIC
2018 CANADIAN UNIVERSITY MEN’S RUGBY CHAMPIONSHIP
Wednesday November 21
Pool A: UBC Thunderbirds (41) vs. Concordia Stingers (8)
Pool B: Queen’s Gaels (76) vs. New Brunswick Ironmen (5)
Thursday, November 22
Pool A: UBC Thunderbirds (34) vs. Guelph Gryphons (7)
Pool B: Queen’s Gaels (15) vs. Victoria Vikes (8)
Friday, November 23
Pool A: Guelph Gryphons (5) vs. Concordia Stingers (19)
Pool B: Victoria Vikes (69) vs. New Brunswick Ironmen (0)
Saturday, November 24
5th Place Game: Guelph Gryphons (62) vs UNB Ironmen (14)
Sunday, November 25
Bronze Medal Game: Concordia Stingers (21) vs Victoria Vikes (34)
Gold Medal Game: UBC Thunderbirds (21) vs Queen’s Gaels (10)
1. Nick Frost, UBC
2. Connor Sampson, UBC
3. Cali Martinez, UBC
4. James Carson, UBC
5. Nick Carson, Victoria
6. Michael Smith, UBC
7. James O’Neill, Victoria
8. Nick Allen, UBC
9. William MacDougall-Percillier, UBC
10. Gradyn Bowd, Victoria
11. Sam Ibbotson, Queen’s
12. Charles Debove, Concordia
13. Cully Quirke, Queen’s
14. Elias Ergas, UBC
15. Brennig Prevost, Victoria