Bittersweet Results & Challenging Travels

On a day of high expectations, two Piggie teams would compete for the Island Championship and a birth to the BCRU Semi-Finals, but only one would emerge with the right to move on.

And what can only be described as a challenging journey, the ladies played their final regular season game that would decide their play-off position.

Games this Weekend at Piggie Park, Saturday, May 4th:

1st Division Women vs. Ridge-Meadows, BCRU Semi-Finals:  KO 11:30 am
3rd Division Men vs. Vancouver Kats, BCRU Semi-Finals:  KO 1:30 pm

3rd Division Men 

The 3rd XV, or more rightly, our Might 3rds, brought the Island Championship back to Piggie Park!  Facing a loaded Velox 3rd XV squad of players who spent most of the season playing for their club’s 2nd XV, who also competes in the 1st division league, the 3rds seemed to be for a tough ride.

The 3rds started the game with a furious start, getting an early 10-0 lead.  Velox then started closing the lead and by half-time, had a 20-17 lead.

Going into the 2nd half, with the winds at their backs, the Piggies scored 19 unanswered points, jumping to a 36-20 lead.  Velox scored a late try but it wasn’t enough to deny the Piggies their first Island Championship in several years.

The scoring was spread around the team nicely, with 3 from the forwards and 3 from the backs.  The effort and intensity was complete from the forwards to backs.  A complete team victory!  The 3rds will host the Vancouver Kats on Saturday, May 3rd @ 1:30 pm in the BCRU Semi-Finals

Cowichan’s scorers:

Ryan Spooner:  2 tries
Ryan McAvena:  1 try
Andrew Wright:  1 try
Jordan Weisner:  1 try
Pat Large:  1 try
Cam Hall:  3 conversions

1st Division Men

The 1st division men faced a Velox team that they went 1-1-1 against during the regular season.  With such parity through the regular season, a close match could easily be expected in this Island Championship – and a close match is what we got.  Unfortunately for the Piggie Nation, the 1st XV ended up on the short end of the scoresheet, scoring only 11 points to Velox’s 14.

It was a defensive grind from the beginning and through most of the first half.  Velox scored a late try, followed shortly by a penalty by Owen Wood and the first half ended 7-3 in Velox favor.

The second half started with a bang, with a try from Gab Farrell moved the Piggies into the thinest of leads.  Unfortunately it would not hold as Velox scored a converted try with 20 minutes left to go.  Another penalty by Wood closed the gap but the boys in black and green could not sustain any momentum and spent most of the final minutes defending instead of attacking.

In the end, Velox held their lead and won their second Island Championship in a row.  Velox will play UBC in the BC Semis this coming weekend and we wish them the best of luck.

1st Division Ladies 

When Island teams have to travel to the Interior, the reaction is usually “ahh you have to go to Kamloops, that’s a rough road trip!”   But not our 1st Division Women.  The ladies’ response is usually “ohh no, it soo much fun though!”  Well this was one trip to be remembered for a long time!

The day started by rolling onto the ferry with 10 minutes to spare.   As they were passing Hope, they fatefully said to themselves, “wow, we’re making great time, we might actually get in a good warm up!”

Famous last words.

About halfway up the Coquilhalla, smoke started billowing out the back of the Piggie Express.  With no cell reception phones, many anxious moments passed.  Thankfully a highway patrol came by and called a tow truck.  Unfortunately, the tow truck could tow the bus back into town.  What to do?  Sleep on the bus?  The game would surely been called off as there was no way of getting to Kamloops not knowing what was wrong with the bus.  Fortunately, Harry from Hope Towing diagnosed and fixed the problem – the emergency brake line had broken off, but the regular brakes were fine.  Thank you Harry!

Game back on! After arriving an hour late, and only getting a quick warm up after a 9.5 hour journey, the game started on a pretty good note with Cowichan scoring the first try! There was no kicker for the game, so it was kick your own try – no converts made it but all surprisingly close, and without a tee!  The final score was 32-30. Under the very trying circumstance, the team was are extremely happy with the result even though it was a loss.

Brandi Van Eeuwan scored 2 tries at outside centre, Carolyn Gudmundseth 2 at full back, Jessica Wilton 1 at wing and Stacey Collison 1 at Scrum half.  Man of the match for forwards went to Sherry Spence and backs to Carolyn Gudmundseth.

The loss dropped Cowichan into 2nd place in the standings but will have home field advantage for the BC Semi-Finals this Saturday, May 4th vs Ridge-Meadows @ 10:30 am (NOTE GAME TIME CHANGE)

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