Bounced Back

You know it was going to be a good day when you arrive at the Piggie Dome and can’t find a parking spot. Last weekend was the first time we have had a triple header in a while. The day started with 10 new registrations (both men and women) and the club is excited to see some local players coming back to “the trough”. 

Piggy Pale Ale Sponsors 

We would like to acknowledge The Lion Rampant Pub in Maple Bay (3 kegs) and Gord Fulton (1 Keg) for their donations of kegs of Red Arrow Brewery’s Piggy Pale Ale and Red Arrow Brewery Kolsch Lager for the days festivities!

Premier Women 34 – Bayside Sharks 8

The Cowichan Premier Women are showing they belong in at the top level with a convincing win over visiting Bayside.  The women staggered a bit last week against CW but came back home and ended up with a 34-8 BP win over their Fraser Valley counterparts.

The Cowichan women are sporting a 2-5 record and have accumulated 5 bonus points which comes from scoring lots and being close in some losses.  The goal was to be competitive, solid and to finish middle of the pack. To date the goals are being achieved and the side cannot be underestimated. This past weekend saw the “ageless wonder”, Carolyn Gudmundseth, scamper for 4 of the 5 Cowichan tries scored. The grinders in the forwards also have to be given credit for all their hard work in establishing perfect platforms for the speedy backs to finish off plays.

Next game the ladies will travel to Westshore at their new facility, Westshore Parks & Recreation Centre, 10:30 am K/O

3rd Division Men 7 – Nanaimo 17

The Men’s 2nd XV (competing in the 3rd division) took the field vs Nanaimo at 1pm an it was a good game to watch.  Darren “Rudy” Olsen (Cowichan HS) was an impact player for Cowichan and it’s good to see him back.  Also good to see lots of youngsters out to play – Peyton, Chase, Alucis.  Nanaimo was stronger and came away with a 15-7 well deserved win.

The mighty 3rds now have a 1-1 record after a good away victory against Castaway Wanderers the previous outing.

Next Sunday the 3rds will be away game in Comox, 1:00 pm K/O

1st Division Men 25 – Nanaimo 24

The last match of the triple-header saw the the Senior Men’s 1st XV host Nanaimo. Cowichan stumbled a bit last week in Port Alberni in a game that was certainly winnable but Port Alberni was switched-on and Cowichan were caught fumbling about in the dark.

The Piggies knew Nanaimo was going to be tough, having coming off a big win vs Westshore last weekend, and it was difficult to predict what Cowichan team was going to show up for the first home game of the season.

Weather was cool and dry and Field #2 was in perfect condition thanks to the hard work off our long time volunteer grounds staff, Mike “Mossy” Moss and Paul “Granny” Grantham. 

We were delighted to have Scotty McLeod (Cowichan HS), Noah Dobson (Cowichan HS) Malcolm Sacht (Ladysmith HS) all back playing and all three were impact players for the Piggies. 

The game started well for Cowichan after securing ball off the kickoff (Nanaimo receiving), Nanaimo was caught by an offensive surge by the Piggies and had to scramble to defend a strong thrust by Cowichan’s forwards down into the corner. Cowichan was eventually forced out of bounds and Nanaimo were able to secure their line-out and kick out of their own end zone.  Nanaimo’s speedy new centre was able to cause some disruption in the Cowichan backfield near centre after the kick and ended up with the ball and romped thru a few attempted tackles to score under the posts at the 7 minute mark. Convert was good, 7-0 Nanaimo.

Shades of the week before where Cowichan holds the balance of play with sustained pressure then “blip” we blink and the other side has some points.

Play went back and forth for the next while and Cowichan was pressuring again. Penalty to the Piggies, kick successful by #9, Jenner Teufel (Shawnigan Lake School) 7-3.

Again, Cowichan applied sustained pressure in the Nanaimo end but then coughed up the ball only to see a fit of missed tackles and the Nanaimo player touching down in the Cowichan end. Convert good, 14-3 Nanaimo at the 20 min.

Roughly half way through the first half, hard hitting Cowichan centre, Andrew Gudmundseth, (Cowichan HS) playing with an injury, decided to come off and his replacement, Noah Dobson (Cowichan HS) would play in his first game for Cowichan. (back from a stint at U-Vic).  Noah made a big and immediate impact as he is a big, swift, skilled player!

The Cowichan faithful were a bit worried that the larger Nanaimo side were going to open the flood gates after the last try, but to Cowichan’s credit, the forwards solidified and everyone stepped up their game from here on. #10 Peter Budina’s (Ballymena) kicking was on, as he was able to keep the Nanaimo back three hopping with well placed “John Graf” style low trajectory missiles.

Nanaimo ran hard, but the tactical kicking and stiff Cowichan tackling slowly improved Cowichan’s field advantage, which culminated in a nice try in the corner by lock, Malcolm Sacht (Ladysmith HS).  Convert missed, 14-8 Nanaimo at the 35 minute mark. Much of the same, strategic kicking, good defence and solid forward play resulted in #6, Mike Rea (Bangor, NI) scoring at the close of the half.  Convert wide, 14-13 Nanaimo at the half.

The second half started strong for Cowichan. Off the kickoff, Cowichan secured ball and Budina launched it down the sidelines.  It appeared as though Nanaimo would gain possession, but a nice Piggie bounce and some Nanaimo indecision saw speedy Cowichan winger, Patrick Large (Cowichan HS), scoop up the ball at the 30 m line, evade two tacklers and charge over for the try. Teufel’s convert attempt off the post, 18-14 Cowichan. A great way to start the half with lots of hard hits and good rugby with both teams wanting the win.

Nanaimo gathered themselves for the next stanza and were able to score a well deserved converted try at the 65 min mark.  The Nanaimo kicker was bang on his convert attempts and we were worried that in a tight game, kicking would be the difference in the end, 21-18 Nanaimo.

Nanaimo would then slot a penalty with about 10 minutes remaining to make the score 24-18 Nanaimo.  Cowichan would need a converted try to win with momentum in Nanaimo’s direction… but not for long.

The second half saw Cowichan dominate the scrimmaging – utterly.  Front Row, Dan James (Frances Kelsey HS), Kieran Lauridson (Cowichan HS), and Andrew “Sturdy” McPherson (Frances Kelsey HS) caused havoc for Nanaimo’s front three, resulting in several penalties for Cowichan.  This dominanation finally bore fruit near the end of the game as one of these penalities resulted in a great kick by Budina to the Nanaimo 5m line.  Line-out secured by jumper, #8 Robbie McDonnell (Frances Kelsey HS) and the ensuing maul resulted in the ball being held up in the end zone – Scrum to Cowichan.  Cowichan pushed the Nanaimo scrum back over their own line and Robbie McDonnell dropped on the ball for the “pushover” try.  24-23 Nanaimo with the convert attempt coming from out wide…  No problem for Jenner “Clutch” Teufel, Cowichan took their first lead of the game, 25-24.

With time winding down Cowichan came under immense pressure around the Cowichan 35m line. Nanaimo was awarded a penalty which they kicked for touch. The resulting line-out on the 10m line was stolen by Cowichan’s Robbie McDonnell (who stole 4 on the day), ball back to Budina and booted down the field.

The game wasn’t over yet however as Nanaimo’s backs muscled their way back to about the 32m line.  Yet another infringement around the tackle secured a penalty to Nanaimo in front of the posts.  As the kick went up, everyone thought the kick was good yet the Ref. Assistants flags stayed down.  Short by 2 inches.  With seconds left to go, Cowichan secured ball and the game with a boot out into touch. Game over. What a game! 25-24 to Cowichan.

Referee John deGoode managed the game well. 

Good times after with great food (Angie), speeches, men of the match all washed down with ice cold Piggy Pale Ale.  Men of the match for Cowichan: #9, Jenner Teufel (Shawnigan Lake School) and forward #16, Ryan Spooner (Cowichan HS).

Next week the 1st Division Men travel to Westshore at their new facility, Westshore Parks & Recreation Centre, 1:00 pm K/O

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