Island Finals, a return at last

Saturday, April 26th

3rd Division Men vs. Velox, KO 1:00 pm
1st Division Men vs. Velox, KO 2:30 pm
1st Division Women @ Kamloops, KO 2:00 pm

After many years of competing in the BCRU provincial wide structure, both Cowichan’s senior men’s sides will be playing for the Vancouver Island Rugby Union championships this weekend at Piggie Park!

This Saturday both the 1st and 3rd division sides will meet Velox and the chance to proceed further toward the coveted BC Championship.

1st Division Men

The 1st Division Men will be returning to the Island finals for the first time in 12 years….  of course keep in mind, with all the changes to playing format in BC rugby over the last decade +, playing in the Island finals wasn’t an option until last season.  However, we are back and will be playing for the Cowichan Cup against last year’s champions, Velox.

Like their 3rd XV brothers and 1st XV sisters, the 1st XV have also had a tremendous season.  In the fall, the 1st XV won the Times Cup, which was a competition that included all of the 1st division teams on the Island – those with Premier sides and those without.  Cowichan went an impressive 5-0 in Times Cup competition.

In addition to the Times Cup competition, the 1st XV also competed in the Cowichan Cup competition.  This ‘league’ actually ran the entire season.  In the fall, the schedule was a mixture of Times Cup and Cowichan Cup, but since January, all games have been Cowichan Cup.  The victors of the Cowichan Cup will proceed through to the BCRU Semi-Finals, and if victorious there, onto the BC Finals.  The winner of the BC Finals will have the option to be promoted to the Premiership division.

Cowichan’s Cowichan Cup record was an impressive 11-2-1.

As reported often in the past few months, the 1st XV is a team of young local talent, augmented by a few international players.  The team’s game sheet reads like a who’s-who in Cowichan rugby history:  Gudmundseth, Cowie, Grantham, Manley, Robertson on the pitch; McGeachy and McCulloch coaching from the sidelines.  The Sons of Cowichan aren’t just for special occasions and anniversary parties anymore!

It is no coincidence that one of those loses and the tie happened at the hands of our Saturday opponents, Velox.  Each and every match between Cowichan and Velox has been a battle.  Velox have scored a lot and been stingy on defence (PF: 492; PA: 138), however they faltered toward the end of the season, losing some key games against Port, Nanaimo, and the Piggies.

While Velox faltered at the end of the season, the Piggies went undefeated in the spring half of the season.  The only hiccup was the tie with Velox on March 1st.  When Head Coach Gord McGeachy was asked what he expected from this weekend’s match, he stated simply “It’s going to be a war!”

Enough said, see you Saturday.

3rd Division Men

The 3rds have had an outstanding 2013-14 season – going 6-0-1 in the fall and 5-0-1 in the spring half.  In other words, UNDEFEATED in 2013-2014!

The team is a mix of youth and experience, where with the exception of the ageless Guy Shockey, “experience” means players just turning 30.  Truly more a 2nd XV than the 3rd XV sides of the past; this squad is full of players who dominate their competition but also provide a deep bench for the 1st XV.  The success of this squad is a true reflection of our return to our roots and core values.

The 3rd XV is probably the most successful of our teams through out the Club’s history.  The Mighty 3rds were a fixture of the BCRU Championship trophy, particularly through the late 90s and into the early 2000s when lead by the likes of Mike Moss, Lee “Taffy” Burridge, Steve MuCulloch, Steve Cowie and many many other Cowichan legends.  Expectations are high for our young side but with their record and a home crowd behind them, we expect the legacy of the Mighty 3rds to continue!

1st Division Women

The 1st Division Women’s team will be making the long trek to Kamloops this weekend for their final regular season game.  The ladies of the black and green, who are currently undefeated (4-0-1) and looking to hold the top position in the standings, are in a must-win situation.  Kamloops is nipping at their heels from second place (5-1-0) and a mere 1 point behind.

This will be a tough game for the ladies but after having 3 weeks off, they are raring to go!

The women will head to the BC-wide semi-finals May 3 and their opponent will depend on the outcome of this weekend’s match.  The competition is tight in the BC Wide league, with the 3rd and 4th place positions being fought out between Ridge Meadows and Kelowna.  Those two teams meet each other this weekend, with the outcome also determining final placement.

Tide Games @ Cowichan

May 25th Cowichan will be hosting 3 Crimson Tide games vs Fraser Valley:  Senior Men, Senior Women and the Juniors.  Times and details will be available closer to the date.

Angie will be leading the hosting activities on behalf of the Club and would greatly appreciate help. Please contact her at ajgudmundseth@shaw.ca

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