Game Preview – November 26

Cowichan to host Times Cup, Saturday December 3rd

Some excitement around the club as now that Castaway Wanderers ended up upsetting Port Alberni Black Sheep in the last VIRU Time Cup 1st Division men’s match this weekend at Oak Bay.

With the 26-18 loss, Port Alberni are now out of the final and Cowichan will now host the Castaway Wanderers in the Times Cup final next Saturday at 1pm. Port Alberni was expected to win the game this weekend so I wonder what happened? CW was seemingly ordinary when they played us a month ago and certainly not to the caliber of a pretty good Port Alberni squad. It’s really too bad, as although we now host the final, I would have rather seen Port win today which would have set up a very good final up in Port Alberni. (It was a nail biter 24-23 win for Port Alberni a couple of weeks when we last met)

This will be the second time CW will be over the Malahat to play Cowichan in the final. The game a few weeks ago was a 15-5 win for Cowichan in a game that saw Cowichan pretty much dominate the local side from CW.

Cowichan was last in the Times Cup final in December 2004 down at MacDonald Park vs JBAA. That year we won the Cup with a convincing 44-0 win. The next year we bumped ourselves up to the Premier league where we sat until this season. The Times Cup, traditionally the VIRU 2nd Division Championship Cup is quite historic and goes back to the early 1930’s. Cowichan has won it 5 times, the first being in 1937 with the last coming 7 years ago.

The Times Cup has actually become the toughest Cup to win now on the island with only 3 teams left in the top Elite League (Velox got bounced this season) There are 8 teams fighting for this hardware and the teams are all relatively evenly matched with no imported, carded or Canada players on any of the teams to tip the balance.

3rd DIVISION MEN

Host Velox Sunday, Grey Cup day at 1pm. All players and spectators welcome. Once the game is done the Grey Cup will be on at the club!

The winner of this game will host the NVIRU Div. 3 Semi Final against either Nanaimo or Velox the following week, This is a big game so let’s get 22 players out to solidify a tight squad against Velox. Cowichan will look to avenge their close loss to Velox in Velox 4 weeks ago. Comox is the top team in the league and if we are can win tomorrow, host a semi final, then maybe host the 3rd Division final as we know the weather and snow will encroach on our northern brethren’s home field up in Cumberland. The key is this Sunday’s match!  So let’s get out there.

Please contact tom_fogarty10@hotmail.com if you want to play

U-17 MEN

Will play in the Island final Sunday (Grey Cup day) down at Castaway Wanderers. You know this will be a good game and when you have the CW coach questioning player eligibility, there’s some nervousness down in CW land. Hard to believe CW would be upset about Cowichan players. Jake Teufel’s bunch have done well this season and let’s home they bring the Ed Bryon’s Cup back to Cowichan. Cowichan won it 2002 through 2008, CW has won it the last 3 years.

U-19 MEN

CW hammered JBAA 43-0 in the final. Our U-19’s had a pretty good season. If there was a bit more consistency in player at training situations it is felt Cowichan could have given CW a better scrap in the final.

BCRU NEWS

There seems to be a feeling about that the BCRU may give up on this complicated league structure we’ve been mucking about in for the last 10 years. I wrote an article and posted it on the BCRugby News blog regarding the structure and compared it to back 15 years ago….here is the article,

I just looked at an old schedule for Cowichan RFC. We had 3 teams, 1st Div (Prems) 2nd Div and 3rd Div. Things were a lot simpler…..

One schedule, 3 leagues, 6 McKechnie Cup weekends, 4 open TBA weekends

BC had 3 levels or leagues, 1st Div, 2nd Div and 3rd Div. SIMPLE

The play was an interlock league where each Division played within their sub-union for the most part and played 4-6 interlock games with other unions.

The 1st Division had 22 league games on their schedule.
The 2nd Division had 21 league games on their schedule
The 3rd Division had 22 league games on their schedule.

Season for the three Divisions went from Aug 28 to May 12th
-1st game on Aug 28th was against the Kats.
-Last game before X-mas was Dec. 11 vs JBAA
-First game in new year was Jan 15 vs Castaways.
-Last League game was March 18 vs Surrey.
-Island final, Barnard Cup was on April 14th.
-BC Play downs/McKechnie Cup semis from April 15-M12

In between the scheduled, interlock games, there were Tide Trial weekends, Wenman Cup, McKechnie Cup play a 7 aside tournament a National Final.

Now to 2011/12

We now have way fewer teams/clubs and 5+ times the leagues?? This 2011/12 season we have the following 15 leagues, that now overlap each other.

Spray 1 & 2, Coulter 1 & 2, Lower Mainland Div 3, Ceilies Cup League, NVIRU 3rd Div Fall, NVIRU 3rd Div Spring, VIRU Elite League, VIRU Div 1 League (Times Cup & Cowichan Cup Division) CDI Spring Premier League, BC Wide Tier 1, BC Wide Tier 2, BC Independent 3rd Division.

Are we confused yet….The sportscaster on a local Victoria TV channel this evening was so confused about how the rugby is structured in BC she made a point to the viewers that they too must be confused…

The word is that just maybe this may be revisited. There would be a set of leagues that would play Sept to May. The top league would be a premier league that anyone could play in and no limitations on imports, cards or whatever. It would single fixture matches with all second and third teams playing local sub-union play with some interlock. I think the powers that be are realizing the heavy travel for recreational rugby is killing the sport.

Let’s hope we can get this going…e-mail your local sub union president with your thoughts and encouragement to get the sport back on track. (Andrew Spray andrew_spray@telus.net )

Tidbits

  • Congrats  to Matt Evans who signed a Professional contract with the Cornish Pirates of the English 1st Div League. 1 step below the English Premiership. The Pirates, out of Penance in southern England, are at the top of the standings in the league and could get elevated to Premiership next season if all goes well.
  • Again, Matt Evans, who secured a Gold Medal at the recent 2011 Pan AM Games in Guadalajara Mexico.  The Pan Am games are the 4th or 5th biggest sporting event in the World. The Canada 7’s team beat Argentina in the final to win first place.
  • Cowichan has not played JBAA in a league game in over a year at the Senior Men’s level. (First time this has happened since we began in 1962)
  • JT Rowbottham is the starting hooker for JBAA’s Premier team.
  • Doug Wooldridge is playing well for U-Vic Vikings at prop.
  • Casey Cavers has been starting at hooker for U-Vic Vikings
  • Patrick Kay has been starting at flyhalf for the U-Vic Vikings
  • Struan Robertson is team Captain and starting #8 for U-Vic Vikings
  • Ian Manly was starting for the UBC Old Boy Ravens Prem. team until he got a nasty gash on the forehead.
  • Gord Kehoe is playing premier rugby at Castaway Wanderers and doing Cross Fit in Victoria.
  • Patto is arriving in Cowichan on dec. 2nd for a 3 week stay. (He’s been playing Rugby Union in Australia
  • Pat Fraser will be coming home at X-Mas after a full year of rugby in Kiwi land
  • Mike Roberts is working in Alberta.
  • Andrew Gudmundseth is also working in Alberta

 

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