Merry Christmas Piggie Nation

Merry Christmas to all from the Best Rugby Club around!

Your Club Executive hopes everyone has an eventful holiday season and will see you shortly at one of the club events!

Thanks to our Club Sponsors

Shawnigan Lake School: Click on www.shawnigan.ca/ to go their website. You can follow their sports programs and schedules by visiting the SLS Website. (ie: Shawnigan Lake School Rugby Home Games when the season starts in late Feb)

Dodds Lumber: Run by local people and supply all sorts of building materials for your projects. Located on the TCH just north of Duncan past the Weigh Scales. 7281 Trans Canada Hwy, Duncan, BC V9L 6B1
(250) 748-1032

Brentwood College School: Click on www.brentwood.bc.ca/ to see a great site showing some of the new projects and buildings on their campus in Mill Bay.

Good Used Cars: Huge selection of good used cars! Located on the TCH just south of Rona in Cobble Hill. See their fantastic website by clicking on www.goodusedcars.ca/

Dr. Eric Meiner Denistry:  of Duncan, British Columbia, . We make beautiful smiles a reality. Quality dental care provided by Dentist Eric Meiner, DMD and staff at our beautiful office. Providing a wide array of dental procedures including Implant Restorations, Fillings, Crowns, Whitening, Bridges, Smile Makeovers, Veneers, Teeth Whitening, and many other services. All of this available in our convenient Dentist office in Duncan, British Columbia, . www.cowichanvalleydental.com/

Club News

Informal training goes through the holiday season on Thursday evenings (Touch Rugby).  All welcome.

Formal Spring Training for Men & Women will start in early January.  Date yet to be confirmed.

To date we have only the 1st Division Men’s schedule finalized by the VIRU.  The schedule is available on the club’s website

Cowichan Cup Update

The Cowichan men currently sit in 3rd place with a 3-2 record at 15 pts. in Cowichan Cup play.  Velox sit in 1st place with 20 pts. with a record of 4-1; Port Alberni hold 2nd place at 4-1 with 19 points; Nanaimo and Cowichan are tied for 3rd place with 3-2 records and 15 points, Velox Academy sit in 4th place with a 0-4 record with 1 point; and Comox are at the bottom of the standings at 0-4 with 0 points. So, as you can see, there is plenty of opportunity for movement and improvement in the standings for the top 4 teams. With the first goal of the season accomplished (Times Cup Championship), the next goal is to be in 1st place at the end of league play. One game at a time.

The 1st XV Men continue their Cowichan Cup League season February 1st when we host Port Alberni at the Piggie Dome.  We then travel to Nanaimo the following week.  Two big games vs Velox mid-season. (Home & Away) will be determining factors.  Velox has a mandate to move to the Premiership next season, they will be a formidable opponent for us for sure.

BCRU 1st Division Big Picture

Nine upcoming big league games to determine the playoff rankings.  This year there will be semi-finals set for April 12. (1 vs 4; 2 vs 3) with the higher ranking getting home field.  There will be a break for Easter then the following weekend is the biggie:  The Cowichan Cup Final on April 26th. (winners of semi finals with the higher seed hosting).  This game will determined the Vancouver Island Champions.  The Island Champions then host (May 3rd) the Mainland #2 Seed in the British Columbia Rugby Union Championship round. (Seattle RFC currently sit in 2nd on the mainland).  The winner of that game then moves on to the BC Championship finals on May 10. It seems likely that the BCRU finals will take place on the mainland.

There are 16 teams competing in the BCRU Men’s 1st Div top flight Leagues.  The VIRU has six teams and the Okanagan-Mainland League has 10 teams.

This league is the most diverse league of the Men’s Leagues in BC.  The clubs and teams actually represent different areas of the Province and this is reflected in their names. This makes for a great competition and pits “City vs City” which is a given in most other sports that play province wide.

The teams we are competing with are: Seattle, UBC, Richmond RFC, Bayside RFC (South Surrey), Surrey Beavers RFC, Abbotsford RFC, Langley RFC, Kamloops RFC, United RFC (New Westminster/Coquitlam), UBCOHeat RFC(Kelowna), Comox Kickers RFC, Cowichan Piggies RFC, Nanaimo Hornets RFC, Port Alberni Black Sheep RFC and Velox Vahallions RFC (Victoria), Velox Academy (Victoria)

My rankings (John’s OPINION), based on fall performance and a particular club’s depth (2nd XV performance) is below. It’s hard to compare the two leagues as there has been no head to head games between the Mainland and Island Clubs.  There’s 25 points separating the 1st through 5th place on the mainland yet on the island there is only 5 points separating 1st through 4th.  There is less potential for change in the standings on the mainland yet on the island there could be a change after the first week. The VIRU fall won/lost record is a combination of Times Cup games & Cowichan Cup games played (except for Velox which is a combination of Cowichan Cup & Barnard Cup games played).

#1: UBC Thunderbirds. 9-0. Currently 1st Place Okanagan Mainland League.  Beat 2nd Place Seattle 29-12 and beat 2nd Place Premier team, U-Vic 27-17.  UBC 2nd XV 9-0. They will be tough to play against. Are they wanting Promotion to the Premier League?  The last few years they opted out of the playoffs.

#2: Seattle RFC. 8-1 Currently 2nd Place Okanagan Mainland League.  Lost one game to UBC, have beaten other clubs by lots. 511 Points For/121 Against. Seattle 2nd XV is at 7-2, so they have depth. Velox will play Seattle in an exhibition match in Seattle late January, so we’ll keep an eye on this as a measuring stick.

#3: Port Alberni Black Sheep: 6-3 Currently 2nd Place VIRU League.  Beat Cowichan 53-17 an Velox 25-17.  No 2nd team, but have a good solid 22 players and a heavy experienced pack. Also have the most dynamic player in BC in Ty Shannon, in my opinion.

#4: Velox Valhallions. 4-4  Currently 1st Place VIRU League.  Lost 3 close games to Premier clubs and one vs Port Alberni, but since then are 4-0.  Beat Cowichan 27-3.  Their 2nd XV is okay at 2-2 but have a 3rd team so have the numbers.  Velox would be #3 if they beat Port Alberni.  Apparently will have some new additions in the new year.

#5: Cowichan Piggies RFC: 7-2 Currently 3rd Place VIRU Cowichan Cup League. Lost to Port Alberni and Velox near end of fall season. 2nd XV 6-0-1 so have some depth. Won Times Cup, VIRU Championship in November (5-0).

#6: Richmond RFC. 7-2 Currently 3rd Place Okanagan Mainland League.  Lost to UBC and Seattle, 2nd team 3-6 depth questionable depth for a long run.

#7: Bayside RFC: 6-3. Currently 4th Place Okanagan Mainland League.  Relegated from Prems last year.  2nd XV at 3-5 to date.
#8: Nanaimo Hornets: 5-5. Currently 3rd Place VIRU League. Close game with Cowichan 18-17. 2nd XV 1-3-1. Did beat Port Alberni in Port Alberni though. That’s always a tough game to win.

#9: Abbotsford RFC: 4-5. Currently 5th Place Okanagan Mainland League. 2nd XV sitting halfway down the standings at 5-4.

#10: Surrey Beavers: 4-5 Currently 6th Place Okanagan Mainland League.  2nd XV @ 6-3 so have some backing. Have a 3rd team. Could be surprise team in Spring.

#11: Langley RFC 4-5,Currently 7th Place Okanagan Mainland League.  2nd XV @ 0-7 so no depth. The only other club besides Cowichan to own their facilities.

#12: Kamloops RFC 2-7, Currently 8th Place Okanagan Mainland League.  2nd XV are at 6-3 so it looks like these guys are putting emphasis on team #2
#13: Velox Academy 2-6, Currently 5th Place VIRU League.  Pretty good if Velox #1 team is playing.  Do have depth as they are fielding a 3rd team.

#14: United RFC 1-8.Currently 9th Place Okanagan Mainland League.  2nd XV at 1-6 so no depth.

#15: Comox Kickers RFC 0-8 Currently 6th Place VIRU League.  No second team.

#16: UBCO Heat: 0-9. Currently 10th Place Okanagan Mainland League. Kelowna RFC morfed into UBC Okanagan basically. They are young and probably compared to the Velox Academy.

1st Division Women

The 1st Div Women will play in the BC Wide Women’s 1st Division.  The schedule is not yet out, but we’re expecting teams from Cowichan, Nanaimo, SFU, Mudhens, Bayside, Seattle, Burnaby Lake, Capilano,United & Kamloops will all be involved.  The goal for this spring is to compete in this league and by the end of the season be in a position to contend for the Women’s 1st Division BC Championship. The last time we won a 1st Div. Women’s BC Championships was in 2011-2012 at home vs. Nanaimo.  Our ladies have a strong history of championships and are eager to return to their winning ways.

FYI a history of BCRU championships can be found on their website www.bcrugby.com/history/championships

2nd/3rd Division Men

2nd/3rd Division Men will play in the currently running NVIRU 3rd Div League.  Cowichan sits in 1st place with a record of 6-0-1 in league play.  Teams in the league are Castaway Wanderers, Nanaimo, Velox, Port Alberni and maybe JBAA.

The goal for the 2nd XV this Spring is to top the standings for NVIRU play.   This will position the club where we can challenge for a BC Championship.  The last time we won this was in 2006 vs Meralomas at U-Vic.

Exciting Times Ahead

Everything at the club seems to be on the up and up.  The club is back to being a “Club”.  Players and members are having fun!  We have many new players out this fall with a good group of core local players.  The club is financially stable and the spring leagues we will play in are competitive.  The two fields are in the best shape ever~  The coaching is top notch and people are starting to trickle back.  We have clear goals of winning championships and most importantly, we can achieve these goals!

Cornish Pirates News

As you all know, former Cowichan Junior, (1998-2006)  Matt Evans, plays for the Cornish Pirates of the Graham King IPA League and in the British & Irish Cup League. Matt was with the club for Cowichan’s U-14, U-16 and U-19 BC Championships achieved from 2002-2006.  Matt played his High School Rugby at Shawnigan Lake School and then College Rugby at Hartpury College in England.   Also, Aaron Carpenter, current Canadian Captain, also plays for the Cornish Pirates (though is currently sidelined with injury).  Aaron was with Cowichan for the 2008 season.

The Pirates will be playing their 21st fixture of the season on December 26th against Plymouth Albion in IPA League play.  The Pirates last played on Dec. 14th vs Jersey in a British & Irish Cup 4th Round and came away with a 27-0.  Matt was moved from his usual wing position and started at #10 for the Pirates. There was 1638 spectators at the away game and the wins puts the Pirates at the top of Pool 6 with a 4-0 record.  The week before, the Pirates played Jersey in the home & home and came away with a win at 31-20.  The attendance at the Pirates home field, Mennaye Field, Penzance, was 1226.  Matt also started at #10 in this game and was named “Man of the Match” and the following commentary was taken from the Pirates blog,

“The man of the match had performed well in the ’10 shirt, but the execution and completion of a try that he would score at the Newlyn posts suddenly brought this match back to life.”

The Cornish Pirates currently sit in 6th place in the IPA Championship League with only 11 points separating them from 1st place London Welsh.

The Pirates will play 15 more league games before they set off into playoffs for a total of 36 rugby matches before playoffs.  Lots of rugby but that’s the way they run it in other countries.  As a comparison, he top league in Canada – the BC Premiership – plays 14 games total in 8 months.  To see more on the Corrnish Pirates and read about Matt go to http://cornish-pirates.com

Have a Merry Christmas Piggie Nation.  Stay safe, stay green.

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