Cowichan’s Hannah McDevitt tries to sneak between a pair of United RFC players during a home game last month. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

Cowichan’s Hannah McDevitt tries to sneak between a pair of United RFC players during a home game last month. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

Cowichan Piggies lock up top spot in women’s First Division

Battle for top spot goes down to final minute

The battle for top seed in the First Division women’s rugby playoffs came right down to the final minute last Saturday.

The Cowichan Piggies travelled to face Burnaby Lake in a battle between the last two unbeaten teams in the league, with home-field advantage in the playoffs on the line.

Cowichan ended up prevailing 50-39, but the match went right down to the wire.

“This was the game we have been waiting for all year,” Cowichan captain Sherry Spence said. “We knew Burnaby was going to be a strong team, dropping down from [the Premier division], and they were also undefeated going into the game against us.”

Cowichan got on the board quickly, but Burnaby battled back, and the teams went back and forth for the rest of the match. Burnaby had a strong forward pack at their disposal, while Cowichan was missing key forwards Laura Russell and Tyson Beukeboom, who are in camp with the other 38 finalists for the Canadian national team.

Trailing in the final minute of play, the Piggies refused to quit. Burnaby kicked for a restart, and the ball was fielded cleanly by Jess Kamsteeg, who got the ball out to centre Lucie Romeo. Romeo weaved her way to a try. The next restart was fielded and taken into contact by Morgan Davidson, then offloaded to Maya Addai, who danced down the sidelines for another try and a conversion by Lauryn Bons to make it 50-39.

Romeo and Addai both finished with three tries, and Carolyn Gudmundseth had two, while Bons had three conversions and Hannah McDevitt slotted a pair. Romeo and Kamsteeg shared Player of the Game honours.

After a week off, Cowichan will open the playoffs on April 23 against Scribes RFC from Vancouver. Scribes finished the season with three wins and five losses, forfeiting their lone scheduled match against Cowichan on April 2.

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