BC Championship Returns to Cowichan

A weekend of battles for all four sides and a BC Championship.  Another weekend where the Club song was song loud and Piggie Pride was in full display.

Games this Weekend

  • Premier Women @ SFU, K/O 11:30 am
  • 1st Division Men host Port Alberni Black Sheep, K/O 1:00 pm – Times Cup Championship Game

Game Reports – Junior Rugby

U16 Boys 29 – Capilano RFC 17 – BCRU Championship Game
With exceprts from Kevin Rothbauer, Cowichan Valley Citizen

The U16 Piggies are BC Champions.

Congratulations to the coaching staff Head Coach, Marvin Seymour and co-coached Darren Sage and Mike Rea, to the parents who sometimes have to drive 20 miles to get their son’s to training, and the players who committed themselves to being one team and as a result are now BC Champions.  The road to this point was a difficult one for sure but it made the victory on Sunday that much sweeter.

Our boys weren’t supposed to win, they weren’t actually supposed to be there but for a last minute pull-out by Abbotsford in the semi-final game; yet they came away with a solid performance against the undefeated and reigning BC Champions, Castaway-Wanderers in the semi-final game the previous weekend, and followed up with a very solid 29-17 win over rugby powerhouse, Capilano.

The game was a hard hitting affair, and as everyone knows, the ferry boat trip either way is always something difficult to overcome and it showed on the Capilano players or the first 20 minutes of the game.  Cowichan was able to punch over two quick tries for an early 12-0 lead before Capilano gathered their druthers and score one in return.  Cowichan scored again to make the score 19-7 when Capilano answered just before the half to make it 17-7.

Capilano started on the front foot in the second half and quickly scored an unconverted try to make it close at 17-12.  After some more strong play it appeared as though Capilano was to score again when an inadvertent knock-on near the Cowichan goal line saw the momentum swing back to Cowichan. The young Piggies furiously worked the ball back down into the Capilano zone and capped it off with try under the posts, convert good.

Solid possession off the ensuing kick-off saw Cowichan work the ball down for another try in the corner, 29-12.  With time winding down, Capilano worked very hard to catch up, and in doing so touched one down to make the score 29-17 close to the final whistle.

Capilano pressed again and were close to scoring their 4th try when the ball tumbled forward out of a maul only to be scooped up by Cowichan who kicked it out of bounds from the end zone. End of game.

Dean Mason, team captain Owen Cumming, Ciaran Breen, Reece Tudor-Jones and Michael Jin all scored tries for Cowichan, with Tudor-Jones also slotting a pair of conversions.

Congratulations to all the boys and especially to the Capilano players, coaches and spectators. Capilano sent 4 teams, to 4 different Island venues – Women at Cowichan on Saturday, U-14 Boys at Windsor, U-16 Boys at Cowichan & U-18 Boys at U-Vic.  For a club to pull off this travel nightmare shows a strong commitment to rugby – both on and off the pitch.

The win is something the entire Cowichan Valley can be proud of, with contributions from throughout the region.

“One of the things we are proud of is that this was a committed effort from the coaches and people involved with the administration of the high school rugby programs,” McNutt said, noting that the team included players from Ladysmith, Chemainus, Cowichan and Frances Kelsey secondary schools, as well as Brentwood and Shawnigan Lake schools. “It was truly representative of the quality of players in the Cowichan Valley. It’s something we’ve worked hard on the last few years, building a relationship with the schools and people building programs at the schools. That all came to a head with this win.”
U18 Men 32 – Bayside Sharks RFC 0 – BCRU Plate Game
Story courtesy of Kevin Rothbauer, Cowichan Valley Citizen

A good season for the U18 Men for earning the BCRU U18 Plate (3rd place). With 25 committed players and a good coaching staff of George Bantin and Marius Felix, the U18 boys, like the U16s bode well for the future of Piggie rugby.

Cowichan got three tries and three conversions from Will MacDougall-Percillier in the victory over the Surrey team. Connor McGarry, Colten Smith and Santiago Guadarrama also scored, and Guadarrama kicked a conversion of his own.

“The U18s had a hard battle this year,” Cowichan junior rugby director Kenton McNutt said. “Unfortunately they let it slip away against Castaways, but they came back last Sunday and got a convincing win over a tough side.”

The U18 Piggies amassed a 3-2 record during the regular season to squeak into the playoffs in fourth place in the top tier of the provincial league.

Game Reports – Senior Rugby

1st Division Men 17 – Nanaimo Hornets RFC 11 – Times Cup Semi-Final Match

The VIRU Time Cup competition has shaped up to be a great competition this fall, with lots of good games and the re-instatement of play-offs which has led to more purpose and a goal for all the hard wording clubs on the Island.

Cowichan approached last Saturday’s game in Nanaimo with some optimism despite niggling injuries coupled with the challenge of playing at Nanaimo’s May Bennett field, complete with a the large “old guard” spectator factor and 125 years of rugby tradition.

Cowichan started the game strong with good scrimmaging, mauling and a try by #6 Mike Rea.  Shortly thereafter, hard charging lock, Ty Jones appeared to score, or did he?  Referee awarded Nanaimo a penalty for Ty’s “double move” to place the ball over the line, no try awarded.  For a third time in the first 15 minutes, Cowichan was again knocking on the door and over the line only to be held up in the end zone. Three forays into the zone resulting in 5 points from what could have been 21. Would that come back to haunt the Piggies?

From 20 minute mark onward, the play went back and forth with Nanaimo gaining some composure and taking the lead with two penalty goals to make the score 6-5. Then against the grain of play, Cowichan’s Ryan Spooner stole a ball in a ruck, and with some nice movement, crafty Peter Budina slid into the end zone for Cowichan’s 2nd try. Convert missed, another 2 points left on the field. Cowichan regained the lead, 10-6.

Nanaimo continued to press and despite fantastic tackling and composure from Cowichan, Nanaimo with their large bodies, started to grind down the Piggies. With time winding down in the first half, Nanaimo was into the corner for their first try of the game.  11-10 to Nanaimo at half.

The second half was a defensive gem for Cowichan.  It seemed as though Nanaimo had possession and were in the Cowichan end of the field for most of the half. Defensive rugby usually advantages the team possessing the ball.  Cowichan was punished several times inside their own 22.  This could have spelled disaster for the Piggies but Nanaimo’s normally steady goal kicker all of a sudden contracted that nasty kicking bug that seems to have plagued Cowichan’s kicking game all season. Three attempts at goal – three misses. The score stood at 11-10 for Nanaimo.

At about the 70 minute mark, Cowichan secured ball and off a chip and chase into the Nanaimo end zone, only to lose possession to Nanaimo.  On the ensuing 22m by Nanaimo surprising kicked to the open side of the field and there to receive the ball was Peter Budina.  He slashed his way down the sidelines, fended off two unsuspecting would be Nanaimo tacklers and dotted the ball under the posts. The conversion was successful, Cowichan lead 17-11.

Off the ensuing kick-off, Cowichan was unable to secure ball and the Nanaimo predictably attacked. Nanaimo used their larger bodies to force the ball into the 5m zone where they stayed for the rest of the game. Cowichan were laying their bodies on the line stymying every Nanaimo charge.  Another 3 penalties to Nanaimo didn’t help the Piggies cause, yet the Green and Black wall held.

An apparent Nanaimo try was called back for a forward pass. Off the ensuing set piece, Nanaimo won their put in despite going backwards, yet instead of swinging it wide to their big backs, Nanaimo’s back row decided to pick and roll off the back of the scrum. A difficult thing to do when going backwards. Off balance, the Nanaimo #8 desperately reached for goal only to be picked up and knocked out of bounds by Cowichan’s Robbie McDonnell.  And that was it, the final whistle sounded, 17-11 for the Piggies.

It was one of the hardest hitting games many have seen in a while. Both teams put in gutsy performances and all players were gasping at the final whistle.

The Nanaimo clubhouse was packed after the game where traditional rugby festivities of fine drink, great food, Man of the Match Speeches and winding up with the piano and song!

Cowichan’s man of the match as chosen by Nanaimo:

Forwards: #1, Andrew “Sturdy” McPherson

Backs: #9, Jenner Teufel

It should be noted that a large cheer went up by both Nanaimo and Cowichan supporters when it was learned Port Alberni had defeated U-Vic in the other semi. The first time in my memory that two North Island teams will square off for the Vancouver Island Championship and Times Cup!  It will be the Black Sheep at the Piggie Dome on Saturday. Should be a barn burner.
Premier Women 31 – Capilano RFC 36

The Capilano game had much that was sublime and showed terrific progress from the previous match against Westshore. Unfortunately, we could not hold our lead against the powerful Capilano forwards, led by Canada player Hilary, and they scored on the last play of the game to edge us 36-31.

This disappointing result does not diminish the fine rugby and superhuman effort on defence that characterized most of our performance. Without Laura and Captain Sherry, who went off with a painful knee injury after twenty minutes, the whole team had to step up and they did so with great grit and determination. A more organized game plan was executed well and, led by Nenagh, who took over as captain, our forwards got us on the front foot, allowing the backs to attack the gain line with great alacrity.

We scored five superb tries, with Carolyn bagging a hat-trick and Sherry and Rebecca adding singletons. Michelle, who had an outstanding game on attack and defence, kicked three conversions. After the game, the women in black and green held their heads high, knowing they could not have done any more. Sometimes the ball and the calls bounce the wrong way. There are still some things to work on, including fitness and scrummaging, but, once again, the Cowichan women demonstrated they belong in the Premier league. Laura, who watched the first half, and the coaches could not have been prouder of our team or more excited about the prospects for the second half.

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