The Cowichan Piggies picked up their first win of the First Division rugby season last Saturday, beating James Bay 36-27 on hostile ground.
“Awesome work by the boys there,” head coach Andrew Wright said. “It’s always good to win down there.”
The Piggies started scoring right away, getting a penalty goal from Jenner Teufel, and tries from Scotty McLeod and Peyton Eagar that Teufel converted, to take an early 17-0 lead. Bays responded with a try and a penalty goal, but Cowichan still held the advantage going into the second half.
Early in the second half, Teufel added to the Piggies’ lead with a try of his own, which he converted, and Cowichan went up 24-10. Bays managed to whittle the lead down to four points, but tries by Robbie McDonnell and Darren Sage, the latter converted by Teufel, put the Piggies back up by 16 points. Bays scored again inside the last two minutes, but couldn’t get any closer than that.
“The boys were great,” Wright said. “It’s always a tricky game with Bays. There’s just so much history there, and some good Cowichan guys have gone to play for them.
“The history is so much older than I am. To win on their home soil is awesome.”
Wright felt that his team caught Bays by surprise.
“I think they were shocked to be down 17-0,” he said. “They made a lot of changes to their lineup.”
Veteran Andrew Gudmundseth stepped up for Cowichan, and Eagar was among the team’s top performers in his first senior men’s game.
“All 21 guys were amazing,” Wright said. “Our subs were monumental. They hammered it home.”
Wright was particularly pleased with his squad’s discipline against Bays.
“The other team was chirping back at us, and we kept our mouths shut, which was awesome,” he said.
The Piggies have this weekend off from league play, but will be sending a developmental side to Comox for an exhibition game on Saturday.
“We still want to win, obviously,” Wright said. “Comox is almost a First Division team. They’re just on the cusp. It just depends who they get out.”