Everything came together for the U18 Cowichan Piggies when they needed it the most.
The Piggies dominated play from start to finish last Sunday as they rolled to a 52-21 win over Castaway Wanderers in the provincial final.
“They played their best game of the year at the right time, that’s for sure,” head coach Shane Thompson said. “Castaways played well; I give them credit, but our boys were just on form. Sometimes things go the right way, and they made that happen.”
With players from Cowichan, Frances Kelsey and Nanaimo District secondary schools as well as Brentwood College School and Shawnigan Lake School, it can be hard to get everyone out to training sessions. Thompson’s strategy of keeping the game simple works perfectly in that scenario.
“We kept things simple and did very well,” the coach said. “Plays in rugby are overrated, I think. We let them play to their strengths. A lot of guys here have played a lot of rugby.”
Conner Sinclair and William McDougall Percillier each scored a pair or tries, while Cole Dryer, Lucas Portillo, Colten Smith and Kieran Marrett-Hitch had one each. McDougall Percillier also slotted six conversions.
Portillo and Dean Mason were among the many standout players for Cowichan on the day.
“Lucas played very well. It was tough for anybody to get through the backs with him,” Thompson said. “Dean played a very physical game.”
The team’s success was made possible by selfless rugby.
“Some of the guys have to let go of their individualism,” Thompson said. “They give something up for the greater good. The guys all bought into what we were trying to do and peaked at the right time.”
Kenton McNutt, the U18 team manager and president of Cowichan Junior Rugby, voiced his pride with the side.
“They really displayed maturity, composure and patience, which allowed them to execute the game plan at an exceptionally high level,” McNutt said. “From the starting 15 players right through to our reserves, everyone kept their emotions in check, got down to the business at hand and contributed to the win. There wasn’t any need to get them motivated for the match given the opposition, always a spirited game when we face them.”