A 22-12 win over Spectrum last Thursday gave Cowichan Secondary’s senior boys rugby team a berth in the upcoming provincial championships.
The match at St. Michael’s was Cowichan’s last chance to qualify for provincials, and with their season on the line, the Thunderbirds came out in the first half against Spectrum with some of their best rugby of the season.
"The forwards were producing good ball, the backs were moving the ball efficiently and the team was duly rewarded," head coach Ron Glass said.
Justin Young opened the scoring with a try off a quick tap penalty, and Brock Gowanlock added one of his own from a similar scenario. Seth Davis carved his way through the defence for the T-Birds’ third try of the half.
Spectrum pushed back hard late in the half, but the Cowichan defence held fast and carried a 17-0 lead into the break.
The T-Birds lost some momentum in the second half thanks to some questionable penalty calls, including a stretch of a dozen short long arm penalties, which allowed Spectrum to gain territory or relieve pressure.
A long run through five Cowichan defenders from Spectrum’s fullback got the team on the board. Gowanlock appeared to seal up the victory when he broke through the Spectrum defence, but was called for a knock-on as he tried to score under the posts. With renewed vigour, Spectrum got another try from their fullback, making the score 17-12. The T-Birds managed to regain their confidence and composure for the last 10 minutes, and put the game out of reach with a try in the corner from Amish Dobson.
Seeded 14th in the provincial tournament, Cowichan will face third-ranked Oak Bay in the first round at Brentwood College this Saturday, kicking off at 11:30 a.m. The remaining games will be played in Abbotsford from May 28-31.