Several promising new faces made their first appearances for the senior Cowichan Piggies last Saturday in an 88-17 exhibition win at Comox.
“It was a good chance for our guys, especially some of our young kids, to get their first look at senior men’s rugby,” Cowichan coach Gord McGeachy said of the exhibition test.
The new recruits included Cowichan Secondary players Peyton Eagar and Chase Gundersen, each of whom scored two tries, former Cowichan Valley Capitals goaltender Robin Gusse, who scored once, and Gavin Wade, who didn’t get on the scoresheet but still played a solid game. Also playing his first game for Cowichan was Philip Budina, the younger brother of veteran Piggies Irish import Peter.
Because the contest was so heavily in Cowichan’s favour, the less experienced players got plenty of extra playing time as well.
“It was pretty lopsided,” McGeachy said. “We downloaded pretty early, too. We had a lot of our veteran players off early in the second half.”
Comox is trying to get Third Division team going, but with no Third Division to play in during the fall season, the league has scheduled a game against Comox for each First Division team on bye weeks to keep the players active.
In addition to Eagar, Gundersen and Gusse’s efforts, the Piggies got two tries from Lucas Quast and one each from Gregor Grantham, Ryan Spooner, Peter Budina, Robbie McDonnell, Jenner Teufel, Mike Rea and Andrew Gudmundseth. Teufel, Gudmundseth, Grantham and Peter Budina kicked conversions.
The Piggies will be back in action at home this Saturday against the Port Alberni Black Sheep at 1 p.m.
The match will be followed by a launch party for the new Piggie Pale Ale at the Red Arrow Brewery at 4 p.m. In addition to naming their new brew after the rugby club, Red Arrow is lending some additional help to the Piggies.
“They’re giving us a bit of sponsorship as well,” McGeachy said. “We’re pretty excited about the partnership.”