The Power of a Small Club

This past weekend saw a full slate of Piggie action!  From the U14s to the Senior sides, the Black and Green blanketed BC Rugby this weekend.  The results were largely positive but even those game where we weren’t victorious, we demonstrated the power of our small club.

Games this Weekend:

Saturday, October 31

1st Division Men host Nanaimo Hornets RFC, 1:00 pm K/O 

  • The Hornets are strong this season and so far are the only club to defeat the Norsemen (24-7) in a couple of years.  They handed the Piggies a 

1st Division Women host Nanaimo/Comox, 11:30 am K/O – Exhibition/Friendly

  • The ladies will host a friendly against a combined Nanaimo/Comox side Saturday morning.  

Sunday, November 1

U14 Boys @ James Bay AA KO 11:30 am, McDonald Park

U16 Boys host Meralomas this weekend  KO Sunday at 11:30 am (confirm time with coaches)

U18 Men host Capilanos this weekend, K/O at 1pm 

Social Events this Weekend:

Rugby World Cup Final Viewing Party @ the Club starting 9:00 am

Halloween Party @ the Club starting 7-8 ish 

1st Division Women 17 @ CW 38 – VIRU Semi-Final

The ladies arrived at Windsor Park with a strong squad and talented depth in reserve, especially in the backs, though we were missing two key players in Laura Russell and Michelle Moore.  The game started with plenty of hard running and tough defence as both teams worked hard to get the first score.

Against the flow of play, Cowichan struck first from our own end on a turnover (probably caused by the ubiquitous Nenagh) as Carolyn Gudmundseth broke away and beat several cover defenders to score near the posts. Unfortunately, the conversion was not good.

CW responded with a couple of tries of their own off quick tap penalties and led 17-5 at the half.

In the second half we had our share of the ball from strong set pieces and several opportunities through a number of phases, but at critical junctures we turned the ball over and their swift young players counterattacked with gusto. Their big #8 and blond #2 did a lot of damage in building a substantial lead. For us the injuries piled up and we had to go to our reserves. The girls who came on fought bravely to get us back in the game and we rallied for two tries at the end of the game scored again by the ageless wonder, Carolyn. One of the tries was executed perfectly by Jemaina to spring Carolyn and showed what we were capable of achieving if we attacked the gain line at pace.

The final tally of 38-17 flattered CW a little but we have to credit their team which is very athletic, well-coached and has some talented, experienced national team players to lead the fast young girls who are sprinkled through their lineup. It certainly gave us a wake-up call and showed what we need to do to get to the next level. There were enough positives in our set pieces and defensive work, at times, to show that we belong at that level, but we need to work on team fitness to get to the breakdowns quicker, make better decisions on the field and develop the kind of sharpness in our attack and commitment to the rucks to exploit the other team’s weaknesses and maintain possession through more phases.

The coaches are excited about the possibilities in our team and not the least bit disappointed by the efforts of our women on Saturday. Back to work next week.

1st Division Men 28 @ Port Alberni Black Sheep 3

Cowichan’s Men’s side traveled the hump to Port Alberni last weekend anticipating a very difficult game. The Black Sheep have been playing some very good rugby lately so the Piggies were expecting a tough one.

The weather was fantastic, cool and not raining. There was a heavy dew on the field which made for greasy conditions and a slick ball at times.

Port Alberni exerted their usual style of offence for the first 15 minutes of the game – pressure inside and ball possession. They were smashing away and Cowichan seemed to be perpetually on defence.

Close to scoring, referee Barber called a penalty against the Sheep for not releasing the ball. Cowichan cleared for touch and the tides began to change. Robbie McDonnell (Francis Kelsey HS) who had a tremendous game from his #8 position, secured the ball from the line-out at the Sheep 22m line, burst through and romped into the end zone for the score at the 18m mark. Convert wide.  

Cowichan’s forwards were very strong on the day with the set pieces being very convincing. Jordan McGarvey (Cowichan HS), who is back playing rugby after starting a family, is a steadying influence at #10 and did a respectable job controlling the Cowichan offence, and particular, putting in a yeoman effort in the tackling dept. 

The game turned into a scrappy affair with several small melees popping up as the game progressed. There were some mysterious calls made as the “Referee Adjudicator” was on the sidelines and was “miked up” to the referee.  Despite protests from both coaches, the the “Adjudicator” ended up being involved in the management of the game.  However, we digress….

The game progressed with Cowichan scoring another unconverted try before Port Alberni converted a penalty. Peter Budina, Cowichan’s crafty Ballyminaman, slotted a drop goal just before the half to put Cowichan ahead 13-3.

13-3 is not a heady lead in Port Alberni – remembering what happened on the Piggies last visit in the spring in the Cowichan Cup semi-final. Up 13-0 at the half, the Sheep came back to win 34-13.

With that memory fresh in their minds, Cowichan took the kick-off to start the second half and stepped on the gas. Port Alberni, despite some ball possession and control, had trouble breaching the “bend but not break” Cowichan defence and only once were able to cross the Cowichan 22m line. 

Some of Cowichan’s new-comers, particularly the brace of flankers, Kieran Lauridson (Cowichan HS) and Tate Rose (Brentwood College), had tremendous games and showed promise for Cowichan Rugby. Patrick Large (Cowichan HS) was rewarded for his strong play with a try in the corner and the always steady Andrew Gudmundseth (Cowichan HS) scored a nice try from his centre position. The always allusive Cowichan goal kicking finally saw a conversion from Jenner Teufel (Shawnigan Lake School), taking the score to 25-3.  another Budina drop goal from far out, took the score to 28-3. 

The game got very chippy and saw a Cowichan player receive a dismissal from the game and the Port Alberni player receiving a yellow sit down after a small disagreement mid field. Cowichan’s scrimmaging was very good on the day. Tight-head prop, Andrew “Sturdy” McPherson (Francis Kelsey HS), had a break-out game and his play throughout the game really opened some eyes. He’s worked very hard and his off field training efforts are starting to show. 

With lots of emotion left out the field as the game finally ended with Cowichan on top 28-3 for the bonus point win.

The post game festivities picked Cowichan’s Dan James as man of the match and the BC Rugby News Man of the Match Mug went to Cowichan’s Robbie McDonnell.

The one disappointment of the day was the loss of the boat race.  Regardless, the post game hospitality was great, the food was great and all were entertained some Jazz’s Wisdom!

Junior Men Results

U-18 Men Cowichan 60 vs Westshore 7 

U-16 Men Cowichan 64 vs Bayside 0 

U-14 Men  Cowichan 22 vs Westshore 24

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