Vikes recover for draw, Bays upset, while Canada passes England in rugby

Canada’s rugby sevens team claimed 12 important points on the IRB Sevens World Series standings by making the Plate Final in Hong Kong

Fleet-footed Beau Parker scored a hat trick of tries as the UVic Vikes men’s rugby team recovered from a 25 point first-half deficit and drew 41-41 with the UBC Old Boy Ravens in CDI Premier league rugby play in Vancouver on Saturday.

Struggling to find their footing, the Vikes were down 30-5 going into halftime.

“When we did have the ball, we looked really dangerous,” said Vikes assistant coach Rick Farrally. “We just needed to maintain possession for lengthier passages of play.”

After the break the Vikes used their speed and fitness to dominate as wingers Parker (three) and Luke McCloskey (two), a pair of St. Michaels University School grads, scored a combined five tries.

Flyhalf Patrick Kay also scored a try and converted to more. Fergus Hall scored seven points from two conversions and a penalty kick.

The game also marked the return of Rugby World Cup standout Adam Kleeberger to the Vikes.

The draw keeps the Vikes in the hunt for a playoff spot, tied for fifth with Oak Bay’s Castaway Wanderers, which lost 18-13 to Capilano.

On Friday (March 29) the Vikes travel to UBC for the second half of the Wightman Boot series against the Thunderbirds.

James Bay retains first place in the CDI Premier League despite dropping a 41-16 loss to third-place Burnaby Lake on Saturday.

In women’s Adidas Premiership rugby the Velox Valkyries defeated United (New West/Coquitlam) 27-15 and picked up the four-try bonus point. Bayside trounced the UVic Vikes 62-12. The Valkyries are now 2-1 in third place with 11 points while the Vikes are one spot above last in sixth place with one win in three games and four points.

Canada passes England in rugby sevens standings

Canada’s rugby sevens team claimed 12 important points on the International Rugby Board’s World Series standings by making it to the Plate Final at the Hong Kong Sevens tournament on Sunday.

Samoa defeated Canada 12-7 in the Plate but the strong tournament propelled Canada above England into ninth position in the IRB sevens standings.

UVic Vikes player Sean Duke was named to the Hong Kong tournament’s Dream Team.

In pool play Canada won 31-7 over Spain and 14-12 against Hong Kong but fell to Fiji 26-5. A 28-14 loss to Wales then put Canada into the consolation Plate bracket, where it made the Plate final with a 19-14 defeat of Portugal.

Next on the series is Japan, March 30 and 31, with local player Thyssen de Goede (James Bay) added to the team.

Canada’s roster in Hong Kong featured local club players Duke and Nathan Hirayama of the Vikes, Nanyak Dala, Mike Fuailefau and Ciaran Hearn of the Castaway Wanderers, and John Moonlight of James Bay.