Cowichan Piggies top Port Alberni Black Sheep in exhibition

Two different styles of rugby clash on the pitch

The First Division Cowichan Piggies travelled to Port Alberni on Saturday for an exhibition rugby match against the Black Sheep. Cowichan took 16 players on the road trip only to find that the host club barely had enough players for a team.

“They still gave us a run for our money, as they do every time up there,” said Cowichan coach Andrew Wright, whose team ended up prevailing 49-27, largely on the strength of their second-half play.

It was somewhat unfortunate for the Piggies that it was an exhibition match as they had an outstanding afternoon.

“It was the best game I think we’ve played,” Wright said. “They play a different style of rugby from everyone else. They play a tighter game with their size and slower speed.

“It works well for the style we play. We can use our offensive speed and get around them.”

The Piggies opened the scoring around the 10-minute mark when Louis Gudmundseth, playing at inside centre in his debut First Division match of the season, planted the ball right under the post.

“It’s good to have him back out,” Wright said of Gudmundseth. “And for him to get on the board.”

About 10 minutes later, Owen Wood took a quick tap and sent the ball across the field where it was picked up by Danny Hamstra, who took it over the line for another try. Alberni slotted a penalty goal before halftime, but the Piggies led 14-3 after 40 minutes.

The second half seemed to drag on and on as they players battled each other and the rain.

“The weather started to come in on us,” Wright said. “We thought it was going to be rainy all day, but it held off in the first half.”

Matt Melgaard scored another try for Cowichan within the first five minutes of the second half, and Haele Ferguson added another a few minutes later, running about 30 meters after a broken play.

Hamstra scored his second after picking off a pass midway through the half, and Arthur Gray also had a try for the Piggies.

Alberni scored the last try of the match in the corner, and their young kicker hit the conversion from the sidelines. That wasn’t enough to outdo Wood, who nailed all six of his kicks on the day.

“He was pretty thrilled with himself,” Wright said.

Wright acknowledged his team still has a few things to work on in their own end, but he’s pleased with the progress this season.

“We’re definitely starting to see things clicking out there,” he said. “It’s later [in the season] than we’d like, but when we’re seeing that happen, it means the guys are doing their best out there.”

Cowichan will still play Alberni at least three more times this season, including one Times Cup game and two First Division matches. The Piggies’ next First Division match will take place on Jan. 26 when they host Port Alberni.

They will host Castaway Wanderers for a Times Cup game this Saturday at 1 p.m., Cowichan’s last match of the fall portion of the 2017/18 season.

Some Cowichan players may still get another game in before the end of 2018 as they have been asked to try out for the Crimson Tide for their Dec. 22 match against the Major League Rugby Seattle Seawolves at Westhills Stadium.

Cowichan’s captain last year, Jenner Teufel, who is playing with the University of Victoria this year, is also among the invited players.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Cowichan-Malahat-Langford MP Alistair MacGregor has expressed concerns about the excessive freighters parked in the Salish Sea for quite some time. (Photo submitted)
MacGregor introduces bill to address problem freighter anchorages

Concerns about the environment, noise, pollution and safety abundant

The Cowichan Fury’s Conor Williams steals the ball from a JDF Kings player during Saturday’s Div. 3 match at the Sherman Road turf. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Cowichan Fury play to another tie on the road

Tolfo and Smith each score two for Div. 3 team

Halloween will be different this year but the CVRD and volunteers are working hard to make it special. (CVRD photo)
Youbou Halloween festivities a go, but digitally

Swing by the Hall to add to your haul

The Cowichan Bulldogs’ Ben Wilson runs the 40-yard dash during the Vancouver Island football combine at McAdam Park on Oct. 24. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Island football players meet in Cowichan for combine

48 players test their skills in bid for provincial programs

FILE – Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry provides the latest update on the COVID-19 pandemic in the province during a press conference in the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Thursday, October 22, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. shatters COVID-19 records with 817 weekend cases; masks now expected indoors

Three people have died over the past three reporting periods

RCMP have released more details regarding what led up to an arrest caught on video in Williams Lake Sunday, Oct. 26. (Facebook video screenshot)
Review launched after ‘high-risk, multi-jurisdictional’ chase, arrest in Williams Lake

RCMP launching a full review and code of conduct investigation

(Pxfuel)
B.C. limits events in private homes to household, plus ‘safe six’ amid COVID-19 surge

Henry issued a public health order limiting private gatherings to one household, plus a group of ‘safe six’ only

B.C. Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson speaks during a drive-in car rally campaign stop at a tour bus operator, in Delta, Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Andrew Wilkinson stepping down as B.C. Liberal leader

Will stay on until the next party leader is chosen

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Campbell River's new hospital, July 2018
Nurse diverts opiates and falsifies records at Campbell River Hospital

Nurse facing disciplinary action for moving opiates out of the hospital

VicPD and B.C. Conservation Officer Service teamed up to free two bucks who were entangled in a fishing net and dragging a wheelbarrow sized piece of driftwood behind them. (VicPD)
VIDEO: Police, B.C. Conservation help two bucks caught in one fishing net

Bucks were also dragging a wheelbarrow sized piece of driftwood behind them

A heavy police presence was spotted in Lumby, Monday, Oct. 26, 2020. (Facebook)
Police situation leads to ‘hold and secure’ at North Okanagan school

Police call for social media blackout in ongoing incident

Most Read