The Victoria Vikes continued to shrug off their underdog status, defeating the Guelph Gryphons 16-0 Friday night in the semi-final of the U SPORTS Women's Rugby Championship at Stade TELUS-Université Laval in Quebec City. The Vikes, who were seeded eighth at the start of the tournament, reached the national final for the first time in their history, ensuring at the same time their best result at nationals, ahead of a fourth place acquired in 2021.
In a rematch of the 2021 quarter-final, which Victoria also won, the Vikes were opportunistic. UVic quickly got on the scoreboard at the start of the game, thanks to two successful penalties from first team All-Canadian Maggie MacKinnon in the first 10 minutes of play. The two teams fought hard thereafter, multiplying fierce tackles to prevent the opponent from adding points to the table. As a result, the first half ended with a score of 6-0 in favor of Victoria.
Another penalty at the start of the second period increased the lead of the Canada West finalists to 9-0. Despite the Gryphons' continued efforts, Victoria held their own defensively, giving their opponents nothing. Then, a late try from Emmie Pierce sealed the outcome of the match in favor of the Vikes.
Victoria will face the winners of the other semi-final between Queen’s and Laval to fight for the Monilex Trophy. The national final is scheduled for Sunday at 3 p.m. (EST). For their part, Guelph will play for the bronze medal starting at 1 p.m. Sunday.
Nike Team players of the game
- Victoria – #13 Sarah Wright
- Guelph – #9 Natalie Armatage
Victoria 16 – Guelph 0
- VIC - Maggie MacKinnon Penalty – 5th (3-0)
- VIC - Maggie MacKinnon Penalty – 10th (6-0)
- VIC - Maggie MacKinnon Penalty – 37th (9-0)
- VIC - Emmie Pierce try #11 – 65th (conversion Maggie MacKinnon) (16-0)