Green Sweep in Nanaimo

Upcoming Games – October 26 & 27

Lots of activity this weekend for the Club!

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 26

1st Div. Women: Cowichan @ U-Vic @ 11:30 KO. Wallace Field

1st Div Men: Cowichan vs Velox Academy @ 1:00 KO Piggie Park

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 27

U-18 Women: Cowichan @ Castaway Wanderers @ 11:30 KO. Windsor Park

U-14 Boys: Cowichan vs Velox @ 11:30 KO Piggie Park

U-16 Boys: Cowichan vs Velox @ 1:00 KO Piggie Park

2nd XV Men: Cowichan @ Powell River KO 1:00 Powell River.**

**We need someone to drive the bus to Powell River on Sunday.  Please contact Gord if you’re able to help.

Game Report

A very successful weekend:

1st Division Women: Cowichan 24 vs Nanaimo 20

1st Division Men: Cowichan 18 vs Nanaimo 17

2nd Division Men: Cowichan 55 vs Nanaimo 0

U-18 Women: Cowichan 24 vs Comox 24

A club day in Nanaimo is always good for local Island Rugby, and on Saturday it was Cowichan’s day in the Hornet’s nest, coming away with 3 wins – “green sweep” if you will!

The women came away with their first win of the season against the always tough Nanaimo Crew. This was a return of the favour when Nanaimo came down to Piggie Park and won that game. A good win for our hard working ladies.

The 2nd XV is playing in the VIRU 3rd Division this season.  A full compliment of 22  players on the roster for the weekend matches are showing some depth in the club.  The hardy, reliable oldsters that were once a mainstay of this Cowichan side are now having to stand on the sidelines as spectators. A 55-0 score for Cowichan keeps the 2nd XV on track and at the top of the table!

The 1st Div game was an interesting one.  Cowichan came away with a 29-5 victory at home a few weeks back at home. However, playing Nanaimo at home is a different story. Bolstered by a few new players and a set of strong running centres, Nanaimo almost came away with the win in their domain.  Cowichan was dominant in the first half and were up 18-0 at one point. Nanaimo scored a try off a Cowichan miscue at midfield to see the halftime score at 18-5.

The Hornets entered the second half with some spirit and right off the get go, were able to key off a Cowichan dropped ball to score their second try.  It seemed as though the whole second half was played in Cowichan’s end.  Lots of miscues and errors on Cowichan’s part, and even more tweets from the referee’s whistle brought the game to a standstill.  Nanaimo were able to muscle in one more converted try near the end of the game.  Cowichan held on for the 1 point win.

Schedule and League Format Explained

Schedule

Many of you may have noticed that the Piggies are not playing our old nemeses  Castaway-Wanderers this fall.  Scheduling this season was very complex, as John Lyall (VIRU VP Game) was trying to work around 4-5 leagues.  In the end, teams in the Times Cup Championship League, will miss playing one of the opposing teams, our hit was a game vs CW.  Scheduling is a thankless task (Hoppsing can attest to this), be sure to thank John Lyall for his work next time you see him.

League Format

Right now Cowichan Men’s 1st XV plays in the Times Cup Championship (Vancouver Island 1st Division Championship which all clubs are involved) and the Cowichan Cup Championship, where all non-Premier Clubs play.  The winner of these competitions moves onto the BC 1st Div. Championship and the winner of that game has the choice of being promoted to Premiership.

U-Vic won the Times Cup Championship in 2012-13. Velox won the Cowichan Cup last Spring by beating Nanaimo in the final.  Velox went onto host Abbottsford in the BCRU 1st Div Semi Final. (Velox lost 23-17); the Vancouver Rowing Club beat Abbotsford in the 1st Div Final, The Rowers chose to be promoted to the Premiership.

The top two teams in Times Cup League play will square off at a later date in a Championship game. (Cowichan last won this in 2011 vs CW)

After league play in the Cowichan Cup, #2 plays #3.  The winner of that game will play #1 for the Cup.  The winner of the Cowichan Cup will then host Mainland #2 in the BCRU 1st Div Semi. The winner advances to the final.

Confused yet?  Whew!  Complicated is an understatement!  The good news is, there are lots of good games ahead!

But most importantly – Cowichan is currently in 1st place in both Leagues! (3-0 in Cowichan Cup & 2-0 in Times Cup)

JJ’s View

After several years of diminishing membership (a woe throughout many clubs in BC) and the resulting unfruitful results on the field locally, rugby in Cowichan seems to be on the rebound.

Going back to the roots of providing a venue for rugby where we play locally against local clubs has seen a 50% increase in senior memberships over 2012.

In BC, 95% of the talk is all about “Elite Premier Rugby” yet, 95% of membership dues and players come from people who don’t play at that level.

The 95% don’t want to travel, have families and may have to go to work right after a game. Every VIRU meeting I have attended over the past years, the business of Elite Rugby always seems to take the highest priority. Trying to push the club into a situation that prevents these things….saw players and members simply leaving the game and doing other things.

To be quite honest, the level of play at all clubs is entertaining and many spectators frankly don’t care if the two clubs battling on the field are at that “Elite Level.”  Just ask the 250 odd people out to watch Cowichan play Nanaimo in the Hub City last weekend.  18-17 was the scoreline – and what fun it was in Nanaimo’s jam packed clubhouse after the game, despite many rushing down to catch the ARC game.

It’s nice to have volunteer administrators & coaches who aren’t burned out trying to arrange buses & ferries then having to worry about the costs. Results: More people coming out and enjoying the rugby experience.

Let’s keep it on track, make it fun and everything else will fall in place!

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