Pictured here in a home game earlier this season, Piggies captain Danny Hamstra scored one of the Piggies eight tries in a 46-5 win over Westshore last weekend. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

Pictured here in a home game earlier this season, Piggies captain Danny Hamstra scored one of the Piggies eight tries in a 46-5 win over Westshore last weekend. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

Deep bench pays off for Cowichan Piggies against Westshore

Rugby team overcomes early injuries in decisive victory

The Cowichan Piggies took a reasonably sized bench down to Juan de Fuca for their Second Division men’s rugby match against Westshore last Saturday, and it paid off almost immediately.

Within two minutes of the opening kickoff, head coach Andrew Wright had to go to his reserves twice when starters were injured. Not long after things settled down, though, Kory Stepanick got the Piggies rolling with their first try of the day, en route to a 46-5 victory.

“Everything started going our way from then on,” Wright said.

Danny Hamstra and Bruce Moss scored the other first-half tries, with Hamstra adding a conversion, while Westshore capitalized on a Cowichan mistake for their lone try of the day.

The Piggies put up 29 points in the second half, but the coach was more impressed that his team held Westshore off the scoreboard entirely over the last 40 minutes.

“Our defence, compared to playing Castaways [the previous week], was night and day,” he said. “Whatever we did in training on Tuesday and Thursday worked. The boys laid everything on the line in the defensive structure.”

Amish Dobson scored two second-half tries, the first after fielding a cross-field kick, the second after powering through three or four Westshore defenders. Moss also went over the line in the second half, as did Chase Gundersen and Dylan Taylor.

“We got tries from the whole team, which was good to see,” Wright commented.

Players who didn’t crack the scoresheet but still made an impact on the game included Ryan Yewchin, who Wright said is “coming out of his shell,” and Cody Wolff, continued his strong play even though he was injured in the first half.

After taking this weekend off, the Piggies will play host to Castaway Wanderers on Saturday, Nov. 20, looking to avenge their loss on Oct. 30. The men will play at 2:30, immediately following the women’s match. The games will be preceded by a blessing ceremony for the rugby club grounds by members of Cowichan Tribes at 11 a.m.

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