Cowichan Piggies book ticket for provincial women’s rugby championship

Laura Russell fends off a Meraloma defender during the Cowichan Piggies’ decisive victory in the provincial semifinal at the Herd Road pitch last Saturday. Cowichan will play for the B.C. title in Surrey this Saturday. (Todd Blumel photo)Laura Russell fends off a Meraloma defender during the Cowichan Piggies’ decisive victory in the provincial semifinal at the Herd Road pitch last Saturday. Cowichan will play for the B.C. title in Surrey this Saturday. (Todd Blumel photo)
Carolyn Gudmundseth scores a try for the Cowichan Piggies during their decisive victory over Meraloma in the provincial semifinal match at the Herd Road pitch last Saturday. (Todd Blumel photo)Carolyn Gudmundseth scores a try for the Cowichan Piggies during their decisive victory over Meraloma in the provincial semifinal match at the Herd Road pitch last Saturday. (Todd Blumel photo)
Hannah McKevitt scores a try for the Cowichan Piggies during their 46-5 victory over Meraloma in the provincial semifinal match at the Herd Road pitch last Saturday. (Todd Blumel photo)Hannah McKevitt scores a try for the Cowichan Piggies during their 46-5 victory over Meraloma in the provincial semifinal match at the Herd Road pitch last Saturday. (Todd Blumel photo)

The Cowichan Piggies will play for the provincial First Division women’s rugby championship after a decisive victory over Meraloma in the semifinals last Saturday.

Canadian national team veterans Laura Russell and Tyson Beukeboom each scored two tries to lead Cowichan to a 46-5 win and a berth in the B.C. final, but coach Marlene Donaldson was especially thrilled with the play of some of her up-and-coming stars.

“Most exciting is seeing all the young guns who are stepping up this season,” Donaldson said. “The future is bright for Cowichan women’s rugby. Great games from Phoenix Skailes, Morgan Davidson and Jenna Nielsen.”

Davidson and Skailes also scored tries, as did Carolyn Gudmundseth and Hannah McKevitt, while Lauryn Bons kicked three conversions.

Although the score heavily favoured Cowichan, the Piggies didn’t go into the game expecting such a wide-open contest. Meraloma was seeded fifth in the eight-team playoffs, and defeated fourth-place Kamloops in the quarterfinals

“This was the first time we played Meraloma [this season], and we knew it wasn’t going to be easy,” Piggies captain Sherry Spence said. “With Cowichan missing four starters on the day, everyone had to really dig deep.”

The Piggies will head to South Surrey Athletic Park this Saturday to take on a very strong second-seeded Burnaby Lake team for the provincial title. Cowichan defeated Burnaby Lake 50-39 in the league finale on April 9, pulling ahead to win in the last five minutes of the match.

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