A long trip worth while

Game Report, March 14, 2015 – 1st Division Men 15 vs Port Alberni 8

Pretty good day for Piggie Rugby.

It was a lovely but slightly windy day at the home of the Black Sheep.  Right off the get go, Cowichan was a hair within the try line but a mistake saw the Sheep get possession and were able to muscle themselves out of trouble.  Again, the Piggies were knocking on the door to open the scoring and a try was taken away by a simple dropped ball, where if caught, a simple pas would have the Cowichan outside man over for the score.

Port scored first against the grain of play. 5-0. They kicked a penalty a little later to make it 8-0.

The Cowichan set pieces were very good again despite the Sheep’s very good front row including BC Bears prop Cody McLary (possibly one of the best BC bred Prop playing rugby right now).  The Scotty McLeod vs Cody McLary was a good battle all day and but where Cody has the size, Scotty has the technique.  Cody scored the only Sheep try.

Cowichan defence was very good on the day with Peter Budina & Mike Roberts putting in crunching tackles on the larger Sheep backs.  Cowichan should have scored at least two tries in the first part of the game, but were stymied by simple “boofs” of the ball at untimely moments within the 5m line.

Cowichan finally got some results when Big Brock Gowanlock was able to crash through for the tally – running over two defenders in the process.  Kicking for goal remained a challenge, so with a missed convert and missed penalty shot, the score was 8-5 at the half.

Hoping to take advantage of the wind in the second half really didn’t materialize. The Sheep, continued their effective disruption of the Cowichan rucks and mauls by every means possible (legal or otherwise). It was working well for them and was a momentum stopper for the Piggies throughout.

Finally some bounces started going our way.   Gregor Grantham brought down a 22m kick, dished to #8 Germain Lamothe who rumbled down the wing, chip kicked over two Port defenders, offloaded the ball to the hard charging Mike Roberts who steamrolled the Sheep Fullback for the score. Convert missed 10-8.

From there, play went back and forth with the Black Sheep being consistently good with ball retention but really not breaking through the stingy Cowichan defence. At one point, Port produced 15 phases.  Eventually called for not releasing the ball near the Cowichan goal line ending an otherwise a good series of possession.

As the game wound down, Cowichan put together one more series of nice passes through the backs, finishing off with a try from winger David Cowie, using his newly found technique of using his size to block through his opposite number.  Convert missed, again.  But that was all that was needed, Piggies took the win.

Some interesting facts:

  • The last time we won in Port Alberni was the snow bowl…  when Gordy was still playing #10
  • It was the first time Port Alberni have lost at home this season and the first time they have ever lost on “Chicken Day” (their annual fundraising day)
  • Cowichan left 9 points on the table as we went o-fer on our kicking. (0-13 if you include last weekend’s game.

Port got a bonus point and Cowichan was not able to secure a bonus point of their own.  We are 4 points behind Port in the standing so we need some help from Nanaimo next weekend (PA vs Nanaimo at Nanaimo) then we will have to trump Velox at home in two weeks.

Game Highlights can be viewed online.

The 1st Division Men are not playing UVic Saxons this weekend as originally scheduled but will resume play with a critical game against Velox on March 28 at home.

1st Division Women

This weekend the ladies host Meralomas from Kitsilano at Piggie Park, k/o 11:30 am – not last weekend as was incorrectly reported in last week’s Piggie Post.

Lomas are one of three undefeated teams in the Women’s First Division and sit in third place, owing to their lower point differential.  Cowichan leads league with an impressive 126 point difference (points for minus points against), followed by United with 61, then Meraloma with 55.

This game is a must win for Cowichan to pull ahead in the standings, particularly as their next game is in Kamloops – always a difficult, and often adventurous, road trip.

3rd Division Men

The 3rds are scheduled to travel to CW this Sunday.   Willing and able bodies are welcome to join.  Please contact Kim if you’d like to play.

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