Interceptions, turnovers costly for Cowichan Piggies

Game against United should have been closer, coach says

Andrew Wright expected a closer result prior to the Cowichan Piggies’ 50-21 loss to United Rugby Club in New Westminster last Saturday, and even after the game he still believed it should have been tighter.

“I thought the score would be a lot closer,” he said. “You could probably knock down their score by 25 or 26 points when you factor in that they scored two tries on interceptions and another one on a turnover.”

The Piggies took 17 players to the Mainland, and struggled to get going, giving up an early try when United picked off a pass and ran it in. They were able to turn things around soon after, however, getting deep into United’s end and working the ball across the field to where Danny Hamstra handed off to Robin Gusse, who powered his way across the line. Owen Wood was back in the lineup after missing the previous match, and kicked the first of his three conversions on the day. The Piggies were within three points of United a quarter of the way through the first half.

“We didn’t get off to the best start,” Wright admitted. “But we kind of washed the ferry off of us and got going.”

Unfortunately, the ferry legs came back, and United scored one of their better tries on the day off a driving maul. They added a couple more scores, and the half ended with the home side up 29-14 after Dylan Taylor closed out the first half with a try out wide that Wood converted.

“The game was still in hand for us,” Wright commented. “We’ve come back from worse in the few seasons I’ve been at the helm here.”

United had a longer bench and came out of the gate hard, and the Piggies were burned on a turnover ball to start the second half. Two tries later and it was 43-14 before Gusse was helped over the line by a couple of teammates to make it 43-21. The game then ended as it began, with a United try off an interception.

The Piggies will play four of their last five games at home, starting this Saturday when they host the Port Alberni Black Sheep this Saturday at 1 p.m.

“It’s probably the most important game of the season,” Wright said. “It could set ourselves or Port up for the playoffs.”

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