Seen here in a home game earlier this season, Robin Gusse was one of several players lost to injury during the first half of last Saturday’s match at Bayside. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

Seen here in a home game earlier this season, Robin Gusse was one of several players lost to injury during the first half of last Saturday’s match at Bayside. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

Cowichan Piggies nearly upset Bayside

Rugby team stays close to defending provincial champs

An upset victory was in sight for the Cowichan Piggies late in their First Division rugby match last Saturday, but some untimely errors led to a 40-20 win for the Bayside Sharks.

Just getting to the pitch and lasting 80 minutes, however, were successes on their own.

Cowichan scraped together a team for the road trip, bolstered by a couple of over-40s players who ended up being the heroes of the day. The Piggies lost five players to injuries by the end of the first half, however, and were playing with 14 men by the 35-minute mark.

The match was a scoreless tie for the first 23 minutes before Bayside slotted a penalty, then added an open-field try a few minutes later to go up 8-0. Cowichan got on the board with a penalty kick by Owen Wood, then suddenly found themselves down to 14 for the rest of the day. Bayside scored again as the game opened up, but the Piggies fought back.

“We worked the ball, found some holes and played our rugby,” Cowichan head coach Andrew Wright said.

Colten Smith scored a try right at the whistle, and with Wood’s convert, it was 13-10 for Bayside after 40 minutes.

“We were very optimistic,” Wright said. “The boys had some good chatter at halftime and got riled up.”

Bayside pressed out of the gate in the second half, taking penalty after penalty until Wood was able to slot one, and it was 13-13 four minutes into the second half. Bayside had the next two tries to make it 25-13, and then one of the over-40 additions, Grant Healey, took the ball at full-steam and powered through to score.

“[Healey] ended up playing all 80 minutes of rugby,” Wright noted. “And he and Louis [Gudmundseth], the two over-40s guys, were our Men of the Match.”

Another convert from Wood made it 25-20 with 10 minutes to play and the momentum clearly in Cowichan’s favour.

“It felt like we had that game,” Wright said. “The tides were turning.”

An unfortunate knock-on led to a turnover try for Bayside, who added two more tries after that to prevail 40-20.

The Piggies hope to get some of their injured players back for this Saturday’s road game against James Bay.

Meanwhile at home this weekend, the Cowichan women’s team hosts Nanaimo at 11:15 a.m. and the over-40 men (a.k.a. Nooky Woods) host the Northwest Old Boys at 1 p.m.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

North Cowichan is looking for public input through a survey as it updates its Master Transportation Plan. (File photo)
North Cowichan looking for public input on transportation

Online survey to be held until April 22

West Shore RCMP arrested a 42-year-old man April 11 following numerous reports of someone firing a rifle in a Malahat campground. (Courtesy of West Shore RCMP)
West Shore RCMP arrest man after shots fired at Malahat campground

Police received numerous reports of a man firing a rifle outside his camper trailer

Dave Kral, owner of the Cobblestone Inn in Cobble Hill, and his staff are frustrated with the new health restrictions banning indoor dining at restaurants in B.C. (Robert Barron/Citizen)
Cowichan Valley restaurants try to survive with new restrictions

Dining rooms ordered to close for three weeks as COVID-19 cases surge

Restaurant patrons enjoy the weather on a patio in Vancouver, B.C., Monday, April 5, 2021. The province has restricted indoor dining at all restaurants in B.C. due to a spike in COVID-19 numbers. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C.’s COVID-19 indoor dining, drinking ban extending into May

Restaurant association says patio rules to be clarified

Two men were seen removing red dresses alongside the Island Highway in Oyster Bay. (Submitted photo)
Two men filmed removing red dresses from trees on highway near Ladysmith

Activists hung the dresses to raise awareness for Vancouver Island’s Murdered/Missing Women & Girls

B.C. Premier John Horgan speaks at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
Tougher COVID-19 restrictions in B.C., including travel, still ‘on the table’: Horgan

John Horgan says travel restrictions will be discussed Wednesday by the provincial cabinet

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

RCMP on scene yesterday at the altercation at the trailer park. (Submitted photo)
Violent altercation at Port Hardy trailer park sends one to hospital

Police say man confronted another over airsoft shooting, then was attacked with a weapon

John Albert Buchanan was found guilty of manslaughter in the 2017 death of Richard Sitar. Pictured here, Buchanan walking to the court in Nanaimo last year. (Karl Yu/News Bulletin)
Six years including time served for Nanaimo man in bludgeoning death

John Albert Buchanan sentenced in B.C. Supreme Court in Nanaimo for death of Richard Sitar

Protesters occupied a road leading to Fairy Creek Watershed near Port Renfrew. (Submitted photo)
B.C. First Nation says logging activist interference not welcome at Fairy Creek

Vancouver Island’s Pacheedaht concerned about increasing polarization over forestry activities

Flow Academy is not accepting membership applications from anybody who has received a dose of the vaccine, according to a password-protected membership application form. (Submitted image)
B.C. martial arts gym refusing patrons who have been vaccinated, wear masks

Interior Health has already issued a ticket to Flow Academy for non-compliance with public health orders

Guinevere, lovingly referred to by Jackee Sullivan and her family as Gwenny, is in need of a gynecological surgery. The family is raising money to help offset the cost of the procedure. (Jackee Sullivan/Special to Langley Advance Times)
Langley lizard’s owners raise funds for gynecological surgery

The young reptile is scheduled for operation on Tuesday

Most Read