Game Reports vs JBAA & Nanaimo

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Game Reports

It was a pretty good day at the club Saturday. Fields were in excellent shape, sure footing, and dry which made for a great rugby day. Good crowd on hand – as there always is when JBAA & Nanaimo comes to town.

1st Division Women

Women’s game vs Nanaimo was very close most of the way, but due to an injury near the end of the game, when Cowichan was ahead by a try, the game had to moved to Field #1.  The change of pitch seemed to change the game bit a put Nanaimo on the front foot. They scored a couple in the 10 minutes to take the game by 5 points. Very competitive game.

1st Division Men

The club hosted JBAA for the only game we get against them this past weekend.  Kind of silly that this once proud rivalry has been reduced to a single game a year, but oh well.

Cowichan needed to improve on our 40-10 loss we suffered at home to JBAA last year. Fingers were crossed that the depth at every position this year would pull us through on the day as several starters were out for a variety of reasons.

It’s good to play good competition. JBAA’s mixed line up of Premier and 1st division players presented a good challenge for the young Cowichan squad. The Piggies welcomed back JBAA’s Lucien Nel, who starred for Cowichan’s Junior program for several years and has done quite well playing Premier Rugby this season.

Cowichan went on the attack right away and came away with a penalty which sure footed Owen Wood quietly slotted a difficult kick from an angle. 3-0 Piggies.

With our 1st XV Scrum Half already sidelined, it wasn’t good news when Cowichan’s starting #9, Gabe Farrell, went down with a leg injury at about the 15 minute mark. This brought in a youngster for Cowichan, who has never played #9 before in a senior game – he did a great job and was steady for Cowichan throughout.

Cowichan held the territorial edge for large parts of the 1st half but against the grain of play, JBAA’s center Nieuwenhuysen was able to romp 60m after a Cowichan cough up for the first try of the game. Convert missed. 3-5.

Shortly after some sustained pressure JBAA scored their second try + conversion making the score 5 – 12 for the visitors.

Clearly, JBAA’s defence was well organized and seemed to have Cowichan’s number as we made several deep foray’s into their zone coming away with zero points. JBAA is a killer when their opposition coughs up the ball. They are well coached on converting a turnover into points from anywhere on the field. If your not quick on shifting from offence to defence look out!  Finally, after sustained pressure, prop, Scotty McLeod broke through a 15m gap, broke the tackle attempted by the fullback, and set the ball down between the posts. Woods converted. 12-10 at the half.

Cowichan’s is very young this year and #10, Cameron Hall, a 2013 graduate of the Ladysmith HS program, had another good game putting together some nice clearance kicks when needed and distributing ball nicely throughout the game. To me he was the player of the game. His JBAA opposite, Adams, also had a pretty good game and put considerable pressure on his opposite defensively and when he got clean ball ball handled it effectively.

Second half was more of the same.  Again, very organized defence on JBAA’s part fending off lots of Cowichan charges. Once again, off a miscue inside the JBAA 22m, Nieuwenhuysen was able to scoop up a loose ball and romp 60m, offload to Downey who rambled in for the score. Kick missed. 17-10.  Very frustrating to work so hard only to have the opposite side score one the length of the field off a miscue.

A resolute Cowichan bunch again came on and applied a ton of pressure. Dean Robbin, Jenner Teufal & Malcom Stanfred Sacht combined with some very effective running straight up the middle. The pressure saw JBAA’s defence collapse, allowing Cowichan to swing the ball out wide to and be rewarded with a score in the corner by the winger. The difficult kick for the tying points was just missed. 17-15.

After some back and forth play, Cowichan was rewarded with a penalty kick with 15 minutes to go.  The sure footed Woods easily slotted the points. The game continued with Cowichan applying the pressure but close to the final whistle Cowichan started to get into penalty trouble but thankfully mostly in the JBAA end and ball in hand.

Sensing a hopeful victory and repeat of his earlier forays down the field, a last gasp gallop down the field by Niewenhuysen resulted in him being tracked down from behind and tackled by super sub Ian Manly. The tackle saw the ball not produced and ended up in a set piece to JBAA.  Cowichan stole the put in, ball was kicked to touch, game over. 18-17 for Cowichan.

Thanks to Mr deGoode and Mr Anderson for their top notch officiating! Good clean game.

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