A reconfigured Cowichan Secondary team wasn’t enough to hold back G.P. Vanier in a AAA boys rugby playoff game last Thursday.
Hoping to secure a berth in the provincial tournament, the Thunderbirds instead found themselves having to make six changes to the starting lineup due to a combination of injuries, illnesses and discipline, and it all proved to be too much as the T-Birds fell 45-7. "Losing a player in one position is tough, two is very tough, and more than that a Herculean feat," Cowichan coach Ron Glass said. "Despite the setback, the TBirds played hard and had good structure, but were beaten in the one-on-one battles. Faster person beats slower person; stronger person beats weaker person."
Vanier romped to a 28-0 lead in the first half despite the best efforts of the T-Birds. Reinforcements tried to stop the bleeding in the second half, but the Towhees continued to dominate. Ben Iwasyk and Sean Barrett were bright spots for the beleaguered T-Birds, and Barrett created the lone try for Cowichan when he stole the ball at the breakdown, attacked the Vanier defence and ran 40 metres before sending scrum-half Cam Horsburgh over the line. Kyle Joe slotted the conversion.
At least five of the six players who were out last week are expected to be back in action this Thursday as the T-Birds go for broke. Cowichan will face the loser of Oak Bay and Spectrum at St. Michael’s School for the last berth at provincials.