First-half struggles stall Cowichan Piggies

The Cowichan Piggies couldn't make up for a slow start, and ended up on the wrong side of a 34-12 final score.

The Cowichan Piggies elevated their play in the second half of their First Division rugby match against Westshore last Saturday, but couldn’t make up for a slow start, and ended up on the wrong side of a 34-12 final score.

“It wasn’t the best first half we’ve had in a while,” Piggies coach Andrew Wright said. “Westshore came out extremely strong and caught most of the players and myself off guard.”

Westshore scored early and often, and led 15-0 after 20 minutes of play, and 22-0 at halftime. The Piggies made some changes at the break, but they didn’t help much as Westshore scored the first two tries of the second half to go up 34-0.

The Piggies did manage to turn things around down the stretch and finish strong with the last two tries of the match. Matt Melgaard scored a try that Jenner Teufel converted, and Mike Roberts added an unconverted effort.

“We equalled Westshore in the second half, but they did the damage in the first half,” Wright said.

Captain Robbie McDonnell was one of the Piggies’ best players in the match.

“He kept trying to spark the guys up,” Wright said. “He put in probably the biggest shift of the game.”

The Piggies won 22-10 when the teams met in Langford late last month but Westshore has made some changes since then, Wright said.

“It was a different Westshore side than we saw last time,” he related. “Not the players, but in terms of the systems they’re using. They’re a premier side that didn’t make the Premiership. I’m not making excuses for our performance; we let them have the full run of the game in the breakdown.”

The Piggies are hoping to make the necessary changes to their game before they head to Nanaimo this Saturday to face the Hornets in their last regular-season game. Nanaimo sits first in the First Division standings, followed by Westshore, and then Cowichan. The Piggies need to beat Nanaimo and have Port Alberni upset Westshore this weekend in order to host a playoff game at the Herd Road pitch.