Piggies Sting the Hornets

Last Saturday was a truly beautiful day to host our old rivals from Nanaimo! The grounds were packed as Nanaimo brought their three senior teams, Women, 3rds and 1st – a feat that only a few Island Clubs can match – and fans for a rare triple header at Piggie Park!

1st Division Women

The Cowichan 1st Division Women’s rugby team played their first home game of the half at Piggie Park this past Saturday, playing the Nanaimo Hornets – their Island rivals, for the first time since meeting in the fall.

As expected, Nanaimo came out strong and caught Cowichan on their heels allowing their hard running fullback to put them on the board first. The Cowichan was quick to answer with rookie Rikki Wylie running nearly 80 meters to cross the line shortly after. While the scoring went back and forth during the first half, by the start of the final forty minutes Cowichan’s fitness began to pick apart the Nanaimo women. The hard work of the forward pack provided clean ball for scrum half Michelle Moore and allowed her to distribute to her speedier back line.

The Cowichan centres combo of Jenna Bugden and Stacey Collison ran some incredible lines which drew in Nanaimo’s defense – opening up scoring opportunities for their back three: Rikki Wylie, Amoray Aloisi, Courtney Wylie and Carolyn Gudmundseth.

Cowichan’s back row, which consisted of Nenagh McCulloch, Annie Zurrer, and Michelle Evans and Tanya Ness managed to shut down most of Nanaimo’s attempts at a comeback.

The final score was 48-22 for Cowichan.

Try scorers were Rikki Wylie (3), Carolyn Gudmundseth (3), Jenna Bugden and Courtney Wylie with converts by Michelle Moore (2) and Rebecca Kerswell (2).

Highlights of the game can be seen online.

This weekend the ladies host Meralomas from Kitsilano at Piggie Park, k/o 11:30 am

Lomas are one of three undefeated teams in the Women’s First Division and sit in third place, owing to their lower point differential. Cowichan leads league with an impressive 126 point difference (points for minus points against), followed by United with 61, then Meralomas with 55. This game is a must win for Cowichan to pull ahead in the standings, particularly as their next game is in Kamloops – always a difficult, and often adventurous, road trip.

3rd Division Men

The 3rds faced a combo side of Nanaimo Hornet and VIU (but mostly students) for friendly. Nanaimo came out the better, winning 39-10.

It was really great to see so many bodies, both young and less young, running (or jogging, depending on how high or low your jersey number was) out there. 3rds is a important transition for younger players to join the Senior ranks and the reestablishing the league in this form is an important step to rebuilding Island rugby.

This weekend the 3rds play another combo side of Comox/Powell River at Piggie Park, k/o 1:00 pm

1st Division Men

The 1st Division Men rounded out the triple header with the bonus point victory they sought, winning 40-22 over Nanaimo.

The Piggies have not been able to start the same 15 pretty much all season and last weekend was no different. Key players were again missing and the plug-in-play nature of this season has meant when guys need to play out of their regular position they do so knowing it must be done to achieve the victory. It’s a credit to the creativity to the coaching staff and the versatility and commitment of players – a pretty good demonstration of Piggie Pride.

Pack domination was the order of the day. The Piggies were unstoppable up front, in the set pieces, as well as the the rucks and mauls. Just looking at the scoring tells much of the story:

Germain Lamothe (#8) 3 tries

Dan James (Prop) 2 tries

Bruce Moss (Fullback) 1 try

Jenner Teufel (Scrum Half) 1 try

Peter Budina (#10) 1 try

Cowichan left 19 points on the board from missed converts. Our regular place kicker was off on a course leaving the job to Captain Peter. He came closer with each attempt, surely a few more attempts, he would have slotted one 🙂

Two players who did not make the score sheet but who were prominent all over the pitch were Brock Gowanlock and Ryan Spooner.

Brock is big, he has hands, he like to run and makes a big impact going into contact. At 285 lbs at 18, he’s already making a big impact in his young rugby career.

Ryan had yet another solid game at hooker (his natural position but like others, has moved around the pack as needed). Ryan is the guy who does the gritty hard work that often doesn’t get noticed… but when you do notice him, it’s when he’s crushed some guy with one of his punishing open field tackles.

Highlights of the game can be found online.

This weekend the Piggies make the trek over the Hump to play Port Alberni, k/o 1:00 pm. Port tied Velox last weekend, which makes a victory with a bonus (and none to them) essential if we want home field advantage for the play-offs.

St Patrick’s Day Party

The day to celebrate in your green is almost here (wait, don’t we do that every weekend?)!

Location: Birds Eye Cove Farm
Time: Doors open at 7:00 pm
Featuring: The Irish Wakers and Apatate Poutine
Tickets: $20 – ONLY A FEW LEFT, contact Stacy Collisson

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