2017 Slaughter Cup Champions!!
By: Ian Gauthier and Robyn Finley, UVic Law students and Slaughter Cup team members
Photos by Debbie Preston
March 13, 2017
The Slaughter Cup Tournament is the annual rugby grudge match between UBC and UVic’s law schools. Drawing from their pool of students, each school fields a team to secure bragging rights and promote ties in the West Coast law community.
The Slaughter Cup is named after the late Todd Slaughter, who organized the UBC-UVic tournament in 1985. Mr. Slaughter had a career in the British Navy before coming to Canada to study law as a mature student. Todd is remembered by alumni who played in the inaugural Slaughter Cup as a gentleman who always did right by his friends and his clients, and as a skilled mooter, evidenced by the plaques hanging in the halls of the Fraser Building on which his name is engraved. This year’s Slaughter Cup Tournament was also the inaugural year for new women’s trophy, christened by the UVic and UBC teams as the “Diva Cup”.
Wallace Field at the University of Victoria was host to a wet and wild event on Saturday, March 11th. Rain poured down all morning and for the majority of the women’s game. Luckily, the sun broke through, and the UVic men were offered a reprieve from the weather, only to contend with the mud.
Yet the weather did not dampen the spirits of the UVic fan base. The UVic Law student body came out in full force with costumes, signs, and noise makers: a big shout-out to Gi-Gi Pao for rocking the bagpipes from the sideline! It was unclear whether official Slaughter Cup commentators Sam Maroney and Will McClary knew that they were speaking at a rugby game, rather than a DJ battle and a cattle auction. For what this rag-tag duo lacks in fashion sense, sporting knowledge, and social decorum, they make up for with bad jokes and heartfelt birthday wishes.
Despite the adverse conditions, Dean Jeremy Webber was elated to present trophies to both the UVICtorious men’s and women’s teams!
Women’s Game Recap
Undeterred by the driving rain and muddy conditions, UVic’s women arrived ready to rock on Saturday morning. The women’s rugby program has undergone a complete overhaul in the last year. Determined to improve on last year’s tied score and bolstered by an infusion of talent from the 1L and 3L classes, the 2017 women’s squad surpassed any that UVic Law has ever seen.
Dispensing with the International Touch guidelines that previously governed the women’s match, the UVic women devised a new set of rules that mimicked fast-paced Rugby Sevens more closely. These modifications lifted the game’s intensity as high as the jumpers in the new addition of lineouts.
The game began with a kick deep into UBC territory, a quick turnover, and a beautiful try scored by 1L Emily Pitre (5pts). The speed and fluidity of UVic’s play in that first minute would set the tone for the rest of the game, as the women settled into an iron-curtain defense and aggressively opportunistic offense. Midway through the first half, team captain 2L Robyn Finley capitalized on an uncaught airborne pass between two UBC players, and after a couple of dirty dangles, scored the game’s second try.
The second half brought tough defense and more UVic tries. Relegated to their own try line on several occasions, UVic’s women were unrelenting and wore down UBC’s offense to regain possession. 3L Audrey Yen was a standout on defense, repeatedly forcing UBC to concede territory by driving players back with her quick touches.
Sylvie Vigneux, a last-minute addition to the team, made textbook moves on the wing and scored the game’s third try. UVic was boosted by this success on the outside, and was positively unstoppable for the rest of the match. 2L Grace Campbell, a natural athlete but first-time rugby player, scored a dank try on the wing, lighting a fire for her teammates that spurred valiant runs and mid-air catches from the other UVic women. Soccer convert Jordyn Bogetti assumed the role of post-try kicker, and Emily Pitre sealed the deal with some fantastic charges down the field, culminating in another glorious try, to the joy of her teammates. The final score was 25-0.
After three cheers for UBC, Dean Jeremy Webber presented, for the first time ever, the coveted Diva Cup. While the statuesque trophy does not, in fact, feature any kind of chalice, the UVic women christened the Diva Cup, toasting their victory to the score of bagpipes, ushering in a shining new era of women’s law school rugby.
The Working Class Hero award for all guts and no glory was presented to Sarah Jackson, a 1L rookie who never missed practice and became a force to be reckoned with on the pitch. Sarah had never touched a rugby ball before entering law school, but by game day, had hands that were a scrum-half’s dream and was hitting the ball at pace with impressive proficiency. Sarah’s only post-game comment has been to inquire as to the next opportunity for buggers, exemplifying her awe-inspiring work ethic and positivity.
The UBC team named Emily Pitre and Robyn Finley Women of the Match. The fly-half/scrumhalf duo made a strong showing early in the game, scoring the match’s first tries.
The Diva of the Day award was presented, for the first time ever, to Lola Churchman. DOTD is an award meant to honour a player who embodies the qualities ascribed to our trophy’s namesake. Lola brims with natural talent, and sells her fakes with Oscar-worthy theatrical conviction. Lola carries a quiet poise and confidence that translated beautifully on the pitch, culminating in a very impressive rookie season for this 1L.
Brooke Haberstock said it best, and speaks for all of us, when she said, “K, but actually lol there is a Diva Cup shaped hole in my heart now. Like, it feels like the best of the semester is behind me.”
Men’s Game Recap
“Men’s game” is a misnomer; this year we had two hard-core women among the ranks. Chelsea Harris and Emily Pitre continued their winning streak by switching up their jerseys and jumping on the pitch to throw-down in the full contact game. According to Bryn Green, they “were the only ones who were actually rucking out there.”
Poor weather made the Men’s game a muddy affair. UBC’s roster was seriously sparse, but they rallied and really took it to UVic hard out of the gate, keeping play in the UVic end for the first quarter of the game. UVic pushed play into UBC’s end when an opportunity to score presented itself by way of a penalty awarded to UVic. Mr. Bryn Green assured everyone, “I got this,” and proceeded to kick the ball as far as he could to the right of the goal-post, presumably distracted by remembering a clever joke he dreamt up in the shower the evening prior.
After about 15 minutes of play, David Litner got mud on his jersey and went ballistic. Furious that his pristine white short-shorts got a little dirty, he took the ball for a huge run through the entire UBC team, scoring the first try of the match (5pts). Bryn followed up by actually making a successful kick (2pts).
Still upset about his shorts, “Too-Lit-to-Quit” Litner repeated the same strategy and scored UVic’s second try. Bryn tried his best on conversion number two, and that’s what counts. After finally realizing that maybe the kicking game is not his forte, Bryn busted through the UBC line to touch down a third try for UVic, making the final score 17-0.
Ibrahim Halawi, Bryn Green, and Sabdeep Sidu were named Men of the Match, with David Litner crowned MVP for the second year in a row. Honorable Mention went to Matt Janssen for remaining aggravatingly photogenic despite being caked in mud at the bottom of a ruck.
The Working Class Hero award for all guts and no glory went to Irish exchange student Jack Bergin, playing the forward position of 8-Man. Despite looking like he gets winded walking down the stairs in the library, Jackie Boy had no trouble keeping pace with the speedy back line, and was instrumental in a number of plays, all the while laying huge hits with the forward line.
Jerk du Jour is the moniker awarded to the player whose incompetence on the playing field must be formally recognized and ridiculed. This is done by way of the sacred ritual of “Shoot the Boot”, where the biggest liability on the team must drink out of a rugby shoe. The usually infallible (and breath-takingly handsome) team captain Ian Gauthier was forced to endure this humiliation of in front of his peers for failing to score while inside the end-zone. Mr. Gauthier ran into the end-zone and was in the process of touching the ball down (required to score) when UBC made a successful last-ditch attempt to stop the try and punched the ball out of his hands. Ian maintains that the rainy, muddy conditions made the ball EXTREMELY slippery and the opposing player was EGREGIOUSLY offside. (Note: UBC was not remotely offside. But still, it’s best not to mention it to him.)
A big thank you to UBC Law Rugby, and to our sponsors who made the event a huge success!!!
· University of Victoria Law Students’ Society
· McEachern Harris & Watkins
· Artillery Regiment Officers Mess, Bay Street Armoury
· Watson Goepel LLP
· Alumnus Mark Slay, Northshore Law LLP
· Vikes Rugby
· Borden Ladner Gervais LLP
· Lawson Lundell LLP
· Whitecap Legal
· Tevlin Gleadle Curtis
· Allard Law Students’ Society
· University of Victoria Student Society
· Dean Jeremy Webber
If you are interested in being involved in next year’s Slaughter Cup hosted by UBC in Vancouver, be sure to get on the mailing list and join our page on Facebook!
2017 DIVA CUP CHAMPIONS
UVIC 25 - 0 UBC
2017 SLAUGHTER CUP CHAMPIONS
UVIC 17 - 0 UBC