2011-2012 Mid Season Reflection

Well, the fall season is done and although rugby is bumping along in BC currently, the club did have one of it’s most successful fall seasons in several years.


U17 Men

U-17 Men upset, in more ways than one, the Castaway Wanderers 14-12 in the VIRU U-17 Championship, Ed Bryans Memorial Cup and advanced to the BC Final (where they lost to the always powerful Capilano program).  Certainly a contrast in coaching philosophies, but it can be said that Doug Tate was out-coached by Jake Teufel.

Congratulations to the boys and coaching staff.  Thanks Jake, Mike Reay, JT Rowbotham and Malcolm Sacth.

U18 Women

U-18 Women were undefeated this fall but due to a numbers situation the weekend of the BC Final, had to opt out of the game allowing the 2nd and 3rd seed to play off for the final on the mainland. Congratulations to Alanna Skene for her hard work.

1st Division Men

1st Division Men are VIRU Times Cup Champions for the first time since 2005. The men defeated a good Castaway Wanderers team at home 13-12 in game which Cowichan pretty well dominated (2 tries called back and playing most of the game in the CW half) Cowichan 1st won the Times Trophy in 1937.

3rd Division Men

3rd Division Men made the semi finals in the 8 team league. The boys fell to the eventual Champions, Velox, in the playoff match. Cowichan finished in 3rd place this fall, just a couple of points behind 2nd place Velox. Velox played Comox in the Championship game in Cumberland and Velox won that contest 24-15.

1st Division Women

1st Div Women had a pretty good season in the Island Development league. The numbers are starting to come up. The women will play in the BC Wide 1st Div League this Spring.

U19 Men

U-19 Men had an up and down season and had penitential to win the Island Championships if players were out on a consistent basis.

U15 Boys and Minis

U15’s and Minis are on the rise once again and the Junior Society has a good grip on moving this group forward.

Protest Results – U17 and 1st Division Men

Many are asking about the results of the following:

Castaway Wanderers formally protested two Cowichan vs CW games this fall season. On both counts, Cowichan came out on the right side of the rules.

  • U-17 Men: CW protested that Cowichan played the final match with unregistered or unqualified players.  Ruled by the BCRU and VIRU that all Cowichan players that participated in the game were registered and eligible to play in that VIRU U-17 Final.
  • 1st division Men: CW protested that 5 Cowichan players were ineligible to play in the Times Cup Final.  VIRU ruled that all players were registered and qualified to play in the 1st Division final. (Players in question had all played at least two 1st or 3rd Div. matches for Cowichan. CW didn’t really understand that the eligibility rule is only in place to prevent Premier players from playing down a Division, not for 3rd Div players playing up a Division fuss over nothing.

Annual Over-Under Game

New Year’s Day, January 1, 2012 @ 1pm.  Fun and festivities at the club grounds all kicking off at 1pm. Over 30 vs Under 30.

BCRU Structure Meeting

President Grantham attended the BCRU Winter meetings held in Victoria 1 weekend of December. Lots of discussion on league structure.  Below is Cowichan’s position after meeting as a club at the Executive level this past week:

Cowichan is confirmed as being in Tier 2 with one team. (In league with Velox, Bayside, Vancouver Rowing Club, Seattle and Richmond)

The latest from Peter Muirhead (VRU President – Rowers) was discussed. It was reported that despite what Peter has come up with, Cowichan has already been given a schedule to participate in Tier 2, therefore, as far as our club is concerned, we are in Tier 2. We must point out, as per our previous discussion, that Cowichan does have two teams, one that plays on Saturday and one that plays on Sunday.

Cowichan also reserves the right to participate in a league of it’s choosing as per the qualification requirements in the new CC documents. It is felt that all though we may not qualify for the top level as per our performance on the field, we do qualify if the other parameters are taken into consideration when compared to clubs that only run 2-3 teams. (JBAA, U-Vic, Ravens, UBC)

Cowichan supports the idea of qualification for Premier/Elite Rugby by way of promotion/relegation matches at the end of the particular season (from the second season, 2013-14 on). How it is decided who enters the Premier/Elite competition in the first year should be based on more than the win/loss parameters from this Spring’s results. (You should have to apply to show reasons why your club should play in the league and what the club has to offer the league as a whole)

Cowichan is for a Premier/Elite League that runs from Sept-May that only includes single team fixtures.

Cowichan is strongly against a Premier/Elite League that runs from Sept-May that includes double team fixtures. To go down this road will kill the 1st Div. League in the VIRU.

Cowichan is for the Sept-May Sub-Union play with some interlock with mainland clubs for competitions below Premier/Elite. (Recreational Leagues)

Cowichan is strongly for the resumption of the McKechnie Cup Competition.

Cowichan club grounds and facility can be utilized for fixtures for the Crimson Tide at any time of the year.

Cowichan supports stronger rules/fees to limit the transfer of players from one club to another.

Cowichan would also like to be included in any discussion regarding the formation of a Premier League. It appears there have been non-sanctioned discussions between a select group of BCRU Clubs over the last months. (Led by by 3 VIRU member clubs) This discussion has excluded other VIRU member clubs that would perhaps have an interest in being in this league. (UBC is a member of this “group”?….. Velox and Cowichan are apparently not included for some reason….)


  • Cowichan’s Matt Evans signed a professional contract with the Cornish Pirates of the English Rugby League.
  • There is a rumor about that there could be a resurrection of the Vampire Rugby Club in the Western Communities. The people at City Center Park are very interested in creating a home base for a club side on the Westshore. The Vampires were a club side that played 2nd Division Rugby back in the 70’s and 80’s in Colwood/Langford.
  • Several key players will be returning play for the club this Spring.
  • Frances Kelsey High School has the rugby players but no coach…..Can anyone help?
  • The Rugby match between New Zealand All Blacks and the Crimson Tide in 1925 at the Willows Fairgrounds was won by the All Blacks 66-3. Cowichan has the jersey worn by All Black legend, Georg Nepia, who played wing in that game. That game held the record for number of spectators at a sporting match in Victoria until the 1994 Commonwealth Games Opening ceremonies. The rugby match saw 11,000 spectators. Google Georg Nepia to follow his history.
  • The Times Cup and Barnard Cup were originally for the Championship of Victoria not the Island. The Cowichan Cup (c 1919) or Silver Rugby Ball, was introduced as the Trophy for winning the Vancouver Island Championship.
  • Nanaimo RFC once competed for the McKechnie Cup and was one of the top BC clubs in the late 1800’s. They toured the UK way back in 1888. They may be the oldest rugby club in BC as there are some old papers talking about rugby in the Hub City as far back as 1884. (Very large contingent of English and Scottish Miners in Nanaimo in those days) They had an inter city league where different Mines and Works created sides who would play against each other.
  • The “NEW PIANO” is actually the new found old piano from the old basement club-house at the Hearn residence on Cliffs Rd. Thanks Una Hearn for making it available for the club.

Good group out for touch rugby on Thursday. This will continue on through until training starts for the Spring season

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