Cowichan players make a defensive stand during their match with Castaways at Piggie Park last Saturday. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

Cowichan players make a defensive stand during their match with Castaways at Piggie Park last Saturday. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

Cowichan women ready for rugby playoffs

Regular season ends with loss to Castaways

The Cowichan Rugby Football Club’s senior women’s team lost their last regular-season match last Saturday, but still managed to move up in the standings heading into the Premiership playoffs.

Cowichan was beaten 44-36 by Castaway Wanderers, but picked up a bonus point for scoring more than four tries, which combined with Capilano’s loss to Westshore to push Cowichan into third place in the standings.

“We were tied with Caps, but because we beat them both times this year, we go ahead of them,” Cowichan forward Sherry Spence explained.

The match against CW went back and forth from start to finish, and the teams ended up combining for 13 tries.

“CW is a very strong team,” Spence said. “They could not catch us in the standings; they could have been in the finals except they took a default -4 points to Seattle earlier in the year.”

Both the Cowichan and CW squads had their national-team players in the lineup for Saturday’s match, although Cowichan lost Tyson Beukeboom to a pulled muscle early on.

Cowichan captain Laura Russell scored three tries, Spence, Rebecca Kerswell and Kelly Russell had one each, and Kelly Russell kicked three converts. Rebecca Saari and Natasha Smith were picked by Castaways as Cowichan’s players of the game.

By finishing third in the standings, Cowichan sets up a semifinal date with the Seattle Saracens. Cowichan and Seattle played a home-and-home series in late March and early April, with the host teams winning both times. Cowichan prevailed 66-47 on the northern leg, and Seattle crushed a shorthanded Cowichan team 106-0 on the southern stop.

”This will be our first time playing Seattle with our full team, so we are excited to bring it to them,” Spence said.

The site for next Saturday’s game is yet to be determined, although Cowichan has requested a neutral site between Vancouver and Seattle.