Vikes leap atop Vancouver Island rugby table

Rick Mercer's presence lifted the rugby world this week

Nanyak Dala warms up with the Canadian men's sevens rugby team by bench pressing their guest-of-honour on Monday (Oct. 17)

Nanyak Dala warms up with the Canadian men's sevens rugby team by bench pressing their guest-of-honour on Monday (Oct. 17)

A cunning try in the final minute by scrum half Phil Mack put the UVic Vikes past the James Bay Athletic Association 44-42 at Wallace Field on Saturday.

Mack took advantage of a penalty tap-in and went quick off the mark, scoring the winning points for UVic against his former club. The win puts the Vikes (3-1) ahead of James Bay (3-1) in the Vancouver Island Rugby Union elite men’s standings.

The man of the day was UVic’s Sean Duke, who scored four tries, three in the second half. Duke, Mack and Vikes’ fly half Nathan Hirayama are now with the national sevens team, along with James Bay’s John Moonlight, in preparation for the Pan Am Games in Guadalajara, Mexico, currently underway. Moonlight scored a try for James Bay while centre Sean White, back from the Rugby World Cup, scored two.

In other league action Oak Bay’s Castaway-Wanderers ran all over Saanich’s Velox Valhallians, 48-17 at Velox.

CW got two tries each from Riley Ilnicki and Isaac Bainivalu, and singles from Clayton Thornber, Andrew Tiedemann, Clayton Daum, and Mike Mizerski.

Ex-Velox player Pita Savea made four conversions for CW.

Scoring tries for Velox were Sana Dawai and Galen Potash-Kooyman with two conversions and a penalty kick by Cam Bell.

In first division play CW defeated Velox 53-10, James Bay beat the UVic Norsemen 38-12 and Nanaimo routed the UVic Jutes 60-0.