VICTORIA – In a rivalry that goes back more than 50 years, the UVic Vikes men’s rugby team will once again battle the UBC T-Birds for the right to claim the prestigious Wightman Boot Trophy.
Awarded annually to the winner of the UVic vs. UBC season series, the trophy is named in honour of the late Brian Wightman who coached UBC from 1964-1967 and is a bronzed boot from Wightman’s playing days.
First played for in 1967, the Wightman Boot has been awarded almost every year since and this year the victor will be the team that scores the most points over the two games that the Vikes and T-Birds play on Saturday and Jan. 27.
The importance of this weekend’s game, scheduled for a 2:30 p.m. PT start at Wallace Field in Victoria (tickets at govikesgo.com), will be threefold.
The teams will not only be playing for Premier League points and the Wightman Boot but also for the chance to book a ticket to the Canadian University Championships, hosted in Guelph, Ont., from Nov. 16-19.
A strong first half gave way to enormous James Bay pressure late in a 61-36 loss for the Vikes last weekend. Ethan Hager scored two tries for the Vikes in the game but 40 points in the second half for James Bay proved to be too much for the Vikes to overcome.
The T-Birds also lost last weekend, falling 32-17 to the UBC Old Boys Ravens.
By the numbers
0: The Vikes and T-Birds are still searching for their first win of the B.C. Premier League Season.
13: From 1997-98 to 2009-10, the Vikes won the Wightman Boot for 13 consecutive years.
4: The T-Birds have captured the Boot for the last four years in a row.