Cowichan Piggies split in visit to Nanaimo Hornets

Win for women’s team, loss for men

It’s always an exciting affair when Island rivals Cowichan and Nanaimo square off on the rugby pitch, and last Saturday’s First Division women’s match was no different.

The teams battled back and forth, but when it was all said and done, Cowichan prevailed 38-27.

Nanaimo opened the scoring, but Cowichan responded soon after with an unconverted try by Nenagh McCulloch. Kaelyn Palmer gave Cowichan the lead shortly after that, with a try that was converted by Tyson Beukeboom. Cowichan managed to stay ahead of Nanaimo for the remainder of the match, Thanks largely to three tries from Carolyn Gudmundseth.

Jenna Bugden had a great supporting run to set up one of Gudmundseth’s tries, and scored one of her own as well. Beukeboom finished the game with four conversions.

The Cowichan men also played in Nanaimo, with just 15 players battling to a hard-fought 57-21 loss.

The match was both a Times Cup game and the annual Wayne Peace Memorial Game, played in honour of the standout for both clubs, who also represented Canada internationally and died in 2007 at the age of 45.

Nanaimo had several premiership-calibre players in their lineup because they didn’t have the numbers to field a premiership team this year, but the Cowichan players put in a strong effort regardless.

“We had a good start,” Cowichan coach Andrew Wright said. “It was still a strong, physical game.”

The 15 players who dressed played every minute of the match.

“They had the pride of the club, playing right to the final whistle,” Wright said.

Danny Hamstra and Peter Budina had tries, Owen Wood kicked two converts. Cowichan was also awarded seven points on a penalty try.

The Piggies are still hoping to bolster their ranks for the season.

“We are always looking for old and new rugby players,” Wright said.

The Cowichan women will host Comox for their first home game of the seasom this Saturday at 11:15 a.m. The men will play an exhibition against Comox at 1 p.m.

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