Cow High boys strong against Island rivals

The Cowichan Secondary School Thunderbirds played two strong days of rugby last week to stake their claim among the top high school programs on Vancouver Island.

The T-Birds earned a 30-10 victory over Nanaimo District Secondary in a league XV game on Thursday, then went 3-1 to finish second at the Westhills Sevens tournament in Langford.

Even after loaning two of their own players to the opposition, which arrived with just 13 bodies, the Cowichan Secondary School Thunderbirds still managed to beat the NDSS Islanders 30-10. Kyle Joe scored two tries, while Brock Gowanlock, Seth Davis, Mike Hubscher and Amish Dobson had one each.

Cowichan led 10-0 at halftime, but Nanaimo came on in the second half with a pair of big runs to get within a try. The T-Birds held them off, then sealed the victory with three late scores of their own. On Friday, the T-Birds were runners-up at the Westhills Sevens, beating Belmont 26-15, Edward Milne 22-0 and Spectrum 10-0 before falling 29-7 to Glenlyon Norfolk in the final.

"The boys were a little rusty in their first match against Belmont, but improved as the day went on," Cow High coach Ron Glass said. "Amish Dobson had a terrific tournament leading the T-Bird scoring. The T-Birds did well on the score sheet but were even more impressive in their tenacious defence."

Dobson had one try against Belmont, two against Milne and one more against Spectrum. Alucious Gray, Raul Corpas-Navas and Ben Iwasyk also had tries against Belmont, Joseph Pimenta and Josh Jones scored against Milne, Davis had the other try again Spectrum, and Gowanlock had the lone score against GNS. Joe kicked five conversions over the tournament.

On Tuesday, the T-Birds played host to G.P. Vanier. The Vanier senior team beat Cowichan 17-0, while the development team topped the T-Birds 10-5. Glass praised the "resilient effort" by his players against the larger Vanier team.

"Despite clearly being the smaller team, Cowichan did not back down from the tackle zone," he said.

Austen Gamble had Cow High’s lone try in the development match.

The T-Birds will be at Scrumfest in Victoria this Friday and Saturday, followed by the Island Sevens at UVic on Sunday.