With just minutes left in their game, Carolyn Gudmundseth sent Rikki Wylie in to score to the outside, completing a comeback and giving Cowichan’s women’s rugby team a 34-34 tie with Westshore last Saturday.
“As newcomers to the Premier League, we are extremely proud of our performance against the powerful and experienced Westshore side,” Gudmundseth said. “Despite not securing the win, we showed the grit and determination necessary to remain competitive at this level.”
Westshore opened the scoring at the two-minute mark, and while Cowichan responded well, they had trouble breaching the hard-hitting Westshore defence. Battie finally got Cowichan on the board with a penalty kick, but Westshore dominated the remainder of the first half and went to the break with a 24-3 lead.
Just minutes after the break, Ashley Smith started Cowichan’s second-half surge by plowing through the Westshore defence, and great support allowed Tyson Beukeboom to score Cowichan’s first try of the game, which Battie converted to narrow the gap to 24-10. Westshore scored again, but just before the midpoint of the second half, Nenagh McCulloch took the ball over the line and Cowichan was down 29-17.
Some great runs and pressure by Cowichan led to a penalty try awarded to newly anointed captain Laura Russell. Another successful conversion brought the score to 29-24. Westshore scored again on the outside and took a 10-point lead, but Cowichan was able to score another converted try to get within five points, setting up Wylie’s heroics.
“It was an awesome game,” forward Sherry Spence said. “That’s a win in my books, when not too long ago that team was beating us 95-5.”
The Cowichan women are off to visit first-place Seattle this Saturday.
“They just got beat by Capilano a few weeks back, so even with the long travel time we are ready to knock them off the top,” Spence said. “Or at least give our all to do so.”