UBC wins first-ever rugby national championship, in the snow (PHOTOS)

Nov 21 2017, 4:50 am

They’ll remember this one for a long time.

The UBC Thunderbirds have made history, winning the first-ever Canadian national championship in men’s rugby.

UBC defeated their provincial rivals from the University of Victoria, 37-12 in the gold medal game on a snowy Sunday afternoon in Guelph, Ontario.

The T-Birds hoisted the Spencer McTavish Trophy, appropriately named after the player and coach who spent 30 years with UBC.

“It’s a very special moment,” said UBC head coach Rameses Langston. “The trophy being named after a good friend and mentor Spence McTavish makes it mean even more.

“This was in our sights. We were excited when the tournament came up and we knew it would be a lot of hard work with great teams challenging for this. It’s nice to be recognized throughout the country as the No. 1 university for rugby.”

UBC won this match because of their play in the first half, shutting out UVic while piling on 32 points of their own.

The T-Birds got tries from Cole Keffer, Nico Clironomos, Nick Allen, Man of the Match James Carson (2), and Clint Lemkus. Tournament scoring leading Theo Sauder also added a penalty kick.

“Team is the best description,” Langston said about his team’s effort. “Everybody did their jobs. Different guys took it upon themselves to score points and play great defence. I’m just really proud of the way they played as a unit. All 26 guys got to contribute, which is a special thing.”

Nobody else had more players named to the Tournament Dream Team than UBC, with eight players making the cut:

  • Clint Lemkus
  • James Carson
  • Jake Ikeda
  • Will Percillier
  • Theo Sauder
  • Nathan Rees
  • Cole Keffer
  • Fraser Hurst

Here are the best photos from the gold medal match, courtesy of photographer Karyn Stepien / UBC:

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