The 2013-2014 Season Begins

Cowichan RFC kicks off it’s 94th year off organized rugby in the Cowichan Valley with the 1st Division Women playing the U-Vic Vikes at 11:30 am and 1st Division Men playing the Port Alberni Black Sheep at 1:00 pm this Saturday, September 14 at Piggie Park.  The schedule through to December can be found online.

Cowichan has seen a resurgence of sorts at the club with strong numbers out to play for both the women’s and men’s side. The club has placed a strong emphasis on the local program being made up of local players with hopes that, in the end, makes for a stronger club.  This appears to be working as senior player numbers have almost doubled over the end of last season. This also affects the social side of rugby where we are seeing a full clubhouse after Thursday training sessions.  This week alone saw 41 Men and 17 Women on the field.  It’s great to see a bunch of 20 year olds singing old rugby songs!  Piggie Pride is fourishing!

The Coaching staff is a good one with Gordy McGeachy in charge of the men’s group and Lee “Taffy” Burridge and Steve “Coos” Cowie running the women’s program.  A strong core of assistants have come forward enthusiastic about the player numbers and the strong local flavour with no predispositions for anything else but local club rugby.  Steve “Muck” McCulloch, long time player with the club, has accepted the role of forwards coach with the Men, and will be assisted from time to time by Gary Dukelow and Gudy Gudmundseth.

Game Preview

This weekend’s games will see former Piggie Coach, Mark Hall coaching the U-Vic Vikes Women up against a good group of Cowichan Women with some very experienced players and a couple new good players on the roster.  Cowichan hopes to match up with a youthful Vikes side that will no doubt feature several young women that have graduated from one of the several top High School valley programs.  KO is 11:30 at Herd Rd.

The Men’s tilt will see an always very tough Port Alberni Black Sheep visiting the Piggy Dome.  The word is PA may have the likes of Ty Shannon back in the line-up after a year off.  Ty is a treat to watch on any rugby field.  Cowichan will start a young group most of which have only recently graduated from local High School programs. Look for locals like Jenner Teufel (Shawnigan Lake School), Gregor Grantham, Scotty McLeod, Gregor Grantham, Robbie McDonnel (Cowichan Secondary) Malcolm Sacht (Ladysmith Secondary) to head up the Cowichan group this Saturday.  KO for the Men is 1pm.

A Full Slate – Help Needed!

The club is running the following teams this fall:

1st Div Men.
3rd Div Men (or 2nd XV)
1st Women
U-18 Men
U-18 Women
U-16 Men
U-14 Men
Mini Rugby.

2nd XV COACH NEEDED (3rd Div Men and 2nd XV are the same team)

Due to the large number of players at training (30-40 Tuesday and Thursday), we are short one 2nd XV Men’s coach.  We are looking for a member to fill this role and he/she would be responsible for:

  • Assisting Gord and Muck on Thursday evenings (both teams will train together)
  • Be in charge of the 2nd XV on game day
  • Assist 1st XV coaching staff when both teams play on the same day.  50% of the time on Saturday @ 1pm and will play before 1st XV plays
  • Look after 2nd XV on game day when teams are separated.  About 50% of the schedule has the 2nd XV playing on Sundays @ 1pm.

Please contact a member of the executive if interested.

Wayne Peace Memorial Game

The annual Wayne game will be held Saturday, Sept 28. KO at 11:30.  There will be several Cowichan vs Nanaimo games happening on the 28th:  1st Division Women, 1st Division Men and 2nd Division Men.

More details to follow closer to the date.

Facility Improvements

Members have been busy over the summer making Piggie Park shine!

Great clean up day last weekend with weed-eating, power washing, scrubbing of the clubhouse, new gutters and drains, firewood cut and stacked, weeds pulled from everywhere.  Fields are looking the best they have in years.  The great growing season has seen a great expanse of green carpet making it ideal for rugby.

Two new light masts with 6 high sodium field lights are to be installed along the parking lot fence.  This will illuminate the whole center of the field and complete our commitment to light the whole main pitch.  Work to commence shortly.

Hard to believe the Scrum Master is still working.  It looks a bit like something from outer space right now (so it kind of fits right in with the people using it 😉 but still works great and is especially useful now with the new scrimmaging rules. Thanks Hardman and Gudy for your hard work keeping it going.  We believe it was the first scrum master made.

Unfortunately the Club has been dealing with continual issues with cars doing doughnuts in the parking lot over the off-season.  To counter this trespassing and vandalism of our property, the Board has resolved that parking barriers will be installed.  This will prevent nitwits from using our lot as a race zone and also lend some organization to the way people park in the lot.

Armstrong Gutters installed new gutters around the clubhouse so that constant dripping during the rainy season is now solved. Please ensure you give Armstrong a shout if and when you need gutter work!

Sponsorship & Social Memberships

Lenni Vinoly and Nenaugh McCulloch are heading up the sponsorship drive. They will also be looking after Social Memberships this year.  Those of you in the Piggie Nation that aren’t able to get to the Club but would like to show your support financially can buy a Social Membership online through PayPal

Piggie Success Stories

Don’t forget to follow Piggie, Matt Evans, who is playing in south England for the Cornish Pirates. They have a great website (Google “Cornish Pirates” to see what Matt’s up to).  He is at the top of the table for scoring trys for his club.  It will be interesting to see where he’s at as far a league scoring.  Matt is joined by Canadian Captain and former Piggie (albeit briefly), Aaron Carpenter.

Piggie, Pat Kay is having a break out season of rugby. After speaking with both Mark Bryant (BCRugbyNews) and Andrew Spray (VIRU President) both were both independently impressed with Pat’s play on the BC Bears and both indicated that Pat was the best player on the field in their last game vs the Rock…..5-5 in kicking including a drop goal and a convert attempt from the sidelines! Catch Pat playing at U-Vic this season.

Junior Rugby

Looks like there is a U-18 Girls rugby league this fall on the island.  This is great as Cowichan RFC has had the only U-18 Women’s program for the last number of years and have had to travel to the mainland to play games.

We have not yet received a full schedule of Junior Rugby Fixtures but as soon as we do, they will be posted on the Club’s website.

High School Rugby Successes

The Cowichan Valley is home to both the 2013 AAA High School Women’s Champions, 2013 7’s Champions (Cowichan High School) and 2013 AAA High School Men’s Champions (Shawnigan Lake School).  Congratulations to both those programs.

Frances Kelsey HS has a very strong group at the Grade 10 level. Apparently they are all big and athletic.  Craig Schmidt is coaching there and can use some help.

Website & Piggie Posts

Thanks to John James for revising the comprehensive Piggie Posts.  We look forward to more as the season moves along.

Anyone wishing to contribute to the Post or the website (pictures, posts, events etc) is encouraged to contact Denise McGeachy.

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