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Victoria Vikes the team to beat early in Canada West women’s sevens rugby season

UVic back Krista Scurfield wins player of the week honours for efforts in Edmonton
Vikes back Krista Scurfield (with ball), in action at the recent Alberta Sevens tournament in Edmonton, was named Canada West rugby sevens player of the week. (Photo by Don Voaklander/courtesy Vikes Athletics)

The University of Victoria women’s 15s rugby team may have had a tough end to their season at nationals last fall, but the Vikes women’s sevens have put together a perfect start to 2022.

The women’s sevens, gearing up to host the Victoria Sevens Series at UVic’s Wallace Field on Feb. 12 and 13, kicked off their Canada West season in style recently, capturing the Alberta Sevens tournament with an unblemished 6-0 record in Edmonton.

The clincher on Jan. 23 was a 12-5 victory over rival UBC in the gold medal match, UVic’s second win of the weekend over the Thunderbirds. Centre Sara Kaljuvee saved her best effort for last, powering the Vikes’ attack with a pair of tries, one in each half.

The Vikes, who beat UBC 12-7 in round-robin play the day before, dominated other opponents at the tournament, beating Trinity Western 38-0 and Lethbridge 40-5 on day one, then chalking up 21-5 and 26-5 wins over host Alberta and the University of Calgary, respectively, on day two before the championship match.

While the scoring was spread around the lineup most games, Vikes back Krista Scurfield (Canmore, Alta.) tallied a team-high seven tries on the weekend, including three against Calgary. Her efforts earned her Canada West rugby sevens player of the week honours.

Despite having a reduced roster for the tournament due to injuries, the Vikes never trailed in any of their games and have now won the Alberta Sevens in four of the past five seasons it has been held.

UVic’s performance impressed head coach Brittany Waters, who noted the calibre of play at the tournament was high given teams’ absence from competitive play for much of the past two years.

“Our team honestly built game by game, and we have a lot of talent on this squad,” she said in a release. “It was a great team performance, everyone stepped up. We had some key injuries, but the healthy players really performed well.”

The Vikes will be the team to beat when they host the Victoria Sevens Series, the second leg of the Canada West season. No doubt UBC will be looking to rebound from the close losses to their cross-the-pond rivals.

Watch for game times when released.

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