The 2014 Campaign Begins

Game Day Saturday, February 1, 2014:  Cowichan Piggies vs Port Alberni Black Sheep at Herd Rd. KO 1pm.

Come support the club! Concession will be open with all profits going to Cowichan Junior Rugby!

The Cowichan Rugby Club opens the 2014 Spring season with a big game at home against the always tough Port Alberni Black Sheep.  After the game, there will be a dinner and dance at the club with the band, Thor & the Thundercats, providing the music.

Game Preview

The Sheep have already played a few pre-season matches against, the most recent against arch rivals, Velox Valhallians 1st XV last weekend.  Velox wanted to avenge their fall loss to Port Alberni by going up and showing the Alberni Valley boys who’s the boss.  It ended up in a “skinny win” for Velox who came away with a 12-7 win. The local Port Alberni rag reported that the Black Sheep were unlucky on the day due to Port being held up once in the end zone, and on another occasion, knocked the ball on while crossing into the end zone.  Port has a very heavy experienced pack and some super dynamics in the backs with Ty Shannon.

JJ ranks the Black Sheep as the #3 1st Div Club in BC based on their fall season play. (#1 is UBC, #2 is Seattle).  See below for his reckoning of how the competition stacks up BC Wide.

Cowichan will look to redeem themselves Saturday after the fall 53-11 loss to the mighty Sheep up in their lair 2 months ago.  Should be an interesting match-up this weekend. These are the games that count – with the top 4 teams in the league all within 5 points in the standings, there will be much competition from here on in.

Training

The women have had good training sessions to date with enough bodies to form a competitive squad.  The Spring schedule is due to be out next week, so we are looking forward to supporting our very good women’s program as the season progresses.  Clearly the rivalry between Cowichan & Nanaimo will continue, with the rest of the competition in the BC Wide 1st Div. Women’s league will come from the mainland.  Our women last won the BC Championships in 2012.

The men have been working hard under the leadership of Head Coach, Gord McGeachy. Last evening there was 40 men out training and the Head Coach was very pleased to report that of the group, only 2 were over 30 years old. Very good sign for the club.

League Overview

The Spring will see the 1st XV Men play in the VIRU 1st Div. League, a 10 game season against Velox, Port Alberni, Nanaimo, Velox Academy and Comox.  The top 4 advance to a playoff round the winners advancing to the Cowichan Cup final.  The winner of the Cowichan Cup then advances and should host the 1st Div. Semi Final. Thee winner of that advances to the 1st Div BC Final.

The report from VIRU President Andrew Spray is that if an Island team is in the final, the BC Final should be on the Island as it was on the mainland last year (Vancouver Rowing Club were 1st Div Champions). The BC Champion then has the choice of promotion to the Premiership.

The 2nd XV will play in the NVIRU 3rd Div League.  The schedule is not out, but it’s likely the first game will be away in Nanaimo next Saturday, February 8 in conjunction with the 1st XV game against Nanaimo.  There is an interesting mix of teams in the league with a couple of new additions – Vancouver Island University (VIU) out of Nanaimo and apparently the U-Vic Saxons will also play in this league. This makes for a good competition with Cowichan, Velox, Castaway Wanderers, U-Vic Saxons, VIU, Nanaimo & Powell River all providing teams. Nanaimo may have VIU as their 2nd team… we’re not sure on this.

Other Games This Weekend

Saturday:

VIRU 1st Div Men: Cowichan vs Port Alberni @ Cowichan KO 1pm
VIRU 1st Div Men: Nanaimo @ Comox @ Comox KO 1pm
Cieli’s 1st Div. League Make Up Game: Castaway Wanderes vs UBCOB Ravens @ Windsor Park KO 12pm
Exhibition: Canada U-20 vs UBCOB Ravens at Langford KO 5:30
Exhibition: Ultra 7’s Dog River Howlers vs VIRU Crimson Tide at Langford KO 7pm

Sunday:

NVIRU 3rd Div. Men: Castaway Wanderers vs Velox @ Windsor KO @ 12pm

And on the Mainland:

VRU 1st Div Men: Richmond vs UBC (Richmond is currently 3rd & UBC is currently 1st on mainland)
Premier vs 1st Div Exhibition: Seattle vs Meralomas (Seattle is 2nd place in 1st Div., Mainland and Meralomas are in last place in the Premier League)

Thanks to our Sponsors

Duncan Auto Parts 5829 Duncan St, Duncan, BC V9L 3W7. On James St at Duncan Ave just up from the High School in Duncan.

South Cowichan Physiotherapy Sports Rehabilitation www.scphysio.com 1400 Cowichan Bay Rd, Cobble Hill, BC V0R 1L3(250) 743-3833 (Valley View Center near Country Grocer in Cobble Hill) Vince “Howdy” Avery, part of Cowichan’s tremendous success in the late 90’s when we won the Rounsefell Cup.

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.

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/

JJ’s Rankings:  BC Wide Competition

#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 Vikings 27-17, 2nd XV 9-0. They will be tough to play against. Are they wanting Promotion to the Premier League?…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. 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 & Velox 25-17. No 2nd team, but have a good solid 22 players and a heavy experienced pack. Have the most dynamic player in BC in my opinion (Ty Shannon)
#4: Velox Valhallions. 4-4 Currently 1st Place VIRU League. Lost 3 close games to Premier clubs and 1 vs Port Alberni, since then are 4-0. Beat Cowichan 27-3, 2nd team 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 LeagueRelegated 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 League2nd 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 League2nd 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 again with Velox 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 morphed into UBC Okanagan basically. They are young and probably compared to the Velox Academy.

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