Island Rivals to Meet at Piggie Park

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Weekend Preview

Saturday, November 9

1st Division Women: Cowichan vs Nanamo KO 11:30 at Cowichan (Far Field)
1st Division Men: Cowichan vs James Bay AA KO 1:00pm at Cowichan (Clubhouse Field)

This Saturday we have two arch rivals descending from either end of the island visiting Cowichan.

The first match of the day will be our 1st Division Women against the Nanaimo Women who are a bit red due to the Cowichan victory taken up in Nanaimo 3 weeks ago.  This should be a good game as both sides are evenly matched and have each won at the opposition’s home park this fall.

The second match of the day will see a continuation of the Times Cup play when our 1st XV Men will host James Bay AA 2nd XV.  JBAA is currently sitting middle of the pack in the CDI 1st Div Standings (which is the 1st division for clubs with Premier teams).  They are coming off a good 31-8 victory over the Meralomas at McDonald Park last weekend so will come up to Cowichan full of confidence.  JBAA has posted their line up on their Facebook page and linked and is linked up with our Twitter feed (@crfcpiggies for those who use Twitter).  Always interesting playing a Premier Club’s second XV when the top side has the weekend off… Bring it on!

Recent Results

Cowichan, meanwhile, had a stumper last weekend up in Port Alberni.  Port is always tough in Port and last Saturday Cowichan must have hit the thin air going over the hump and continued on in thin air for most of the game.

The first half was going well for Cowichan, camping in the Black Sheep end for a good 30 minutes and apparently in control, holding a lead of 8-0 at one point.  Following that, Port got a try back, then after a Piggie Penalty kick, the score was 11-7.  Things started going sideways after that.  Cowichan left 3 trys on the table by not taking advantage of situations and banging the ball down in the zone. Then followed an injury to a key Piggie then an unfortunate Red Card to our half back near the end of the half, allowed Port back into the game and the half ended 14-11.

Down to 14 players, Cowichan started the second have with some poise, but it wasn’t long until the wisened Port team figured out where to run the ball. The seams started to split and the Piggies allowed Port Alberni in for a bunch of scores.

Final ended up 54-11. A good win for a good club. It’s very difficult to play against a good team with a player down.

The boys have been resiliance this season and are eager to bounce back. Two good training sessions this week should see a good effort this weekend.

It was only 3 weeks ago Port Alberni barely beat the Velox Academy 23-18, and then 2 weeks ago Cowichan soundly beats the Velox Academy 68-0, only to get beat 54-11 by Port Alberni last weekend.   We also beat Port 55-5 in our first game of the season.  Hard to predict the outcomes based on those results.  The league is full of competitive teams and is wide open, which makes it fun.

Cowichan still sits in good stead in the Cowichan Cup standings with a 4-1 record.  We are 2-0 in Times Cup play and 6-1 on the season. This time last year we were 2-4 and struggling with numbers.  Click here for full BCRU standings.

Cowichan Cup is the league where the teams that wins, moves into the BC Championship round.  After League play this Spring, the Island 1st Div teams will playoff: 1st vs 4th, 2nd vs 3rd, the winners of which meet in the Cowichan Cup final.   The Winner of the Cowichan Cup will host the Mainland #2 (Currently either Seattle or UBC) and the winner of that game will meet the winner of the Mainland #1 vs Mainland #3 game for the Championship.  Making and winning the championship game is our goal.

JJ’s Musings

Kind of weird – we only play our once hot rivals from Victoria once every one or two years.  Seems dumb to me that the Premier League format has taken away much of the local spirit once seen when these two clubs got together for games.  At one time a JBAA visit would see over 1000 fans out and the games would be intense.  Back in the day the BC Final was always thought to be the Barnard Cup.  JBAA & Cowichan provided such entertainment in these Island Finals.  Locals vs locals – the Piggies vs the Bays.  There seems to be a grass roots flavor of late of maybe going back to the way it was, when island rugby was strong and local.

Have to get a few of the “old socks” in Victoria to get their proverbial heads out of their posteriors before it happens though. The more the Premier League moves on the more it seems to me that it’s about a few people and their egos more than anything else.

This past weekend from the reports I read and heard regarding the Premier league is an a fluctuating state at the moment.  On the one hand, JBAA barely fielded two teams together scraping together only 31 players for a home game;  Meralomas are down to barely 2 teams and are in a real funk right now; CW is struggling for players having to cancel a couple of lower division matches in order to field their top team, and no fans out to recent home CW game as reported by BCRugbyNews; and Ravens are starting a 45 year old at Scrum half and have just enough for 2 teams.   But on the other hand, U-Vic, Capilanos and Burnaby are in good shape though, they have numbers but are also geographically blessed with the demographics favoring them. The Rowers are in good stead and the club that everyone wrote off 2 months ago is now 3-1 having knocked off some top teams.

Castaway Wanderers & Meralomas are cellar dwellers at the moment.  With relegation looming, will a club that has never been relegated be dropped at the end of the season and will that club survive?  Half the clubs in the Premiership would be done if relegated (certainly the impact of relegation is well know in the land of black and green).  Those with 2 clubs and others that attract and recruit players from afar to make up their squads will suffer greatly if dropped.

It will be interesting next weekend to see how the thinly stretched island Premier clubs do on travel dates over on the mainland.  Another realty Cowichan knows well is the impact of traveling with less than 30 players for two games.  One wonders if their training staff and coaches that can strap on the boots like our’s have in the past.   And wait until the red hot Seattle club gets a spot into the Premier League next season.  They are hammering everyone in the Mainland 1sst Div right now, their latest victims being Abbotsford, a former Premier side, 48-15.  Will the ever evolving rules around promotion and relegation change again?  We shall see.

Social Memberships

Social membership is a bit slow going so far.  To date, there are only 3 are paid up Social members:

-Ed H. (member since 2007)
-Jane H. (member since 2007)
-Andy H. (member since 1967)

Please see John or Sherry if you are interested in continuing your $150.00 CRFC Social Membership.

Tidbits

-Cowichan’s Men (1st Div & 3rd Div) will host Velox next weekend at home.  Both should be a good games as the Velox 1sts are looking to rebound from their 3-4 start to this season and the Velox 3rds are looking for redemption due to our last game with them that ended up as a tie.

-Castaway Wanderers postponed their 3rd Div. vs Cowichan last weekend. We are hoping for that match to be played in 3 weeks time.

-Frances Kelsey HS Rugby is up and running. They have a facebook page so to keep up with their progress, follow them on facebook.

-All the rugby clubs seem to have facebook pages. You can check them out to see what they are up to if you want.

-The Island 1st Division has a 21 game season this year and with playoffs are guaranteed 23 games.

-Premier League has a Christmas break from Nov. 23rd until Feb 15th…wow….  VIRU 1st Div plays it’s last game on Dec 8 and resumes Feb 1st. For players, the island league is a better bang for your registration buck for sure!  More games, more rugby and no big mainland travel. Great for clubs and keeps the cash flow local!

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