Fans can expect "two very, very competitive matches" this Saturday when the First and Third division Island finals are played at the Cowichan Rugby Football Club.
"In both games, we’ll be taking on very good Velox sides who are the reigning champions of the First and Third divisions for the Island," Cowichan head coach Gord McGeachy said. "We’ll be able to capture league titles in both divisions this year, but we’ve got to get business done in the playoffs."
There’s no doubt that, in both cases, the final has come down to the top two teams on the Island, and nothing short of going all-out will win the game.
"In both games, particularly the Firsts Division game, it will take a full team effort for 80 minutes," McGeachy said.
The First Division Piggies have been well-matched with Velox all year, going 1-1-1. The Cowichan Firsts’ advantage is in the speed and skill of their backs, which McGeachy hopes can neutralize Velox’s size-advantage in the forwards.
"I don’t think our forwards will be pushed around, but if we can get [Velox] moving around the field and tire them out that way, that will help us," McGeachy said. "And when we have scoring opportunities, we need to take advantage of those."
The Velox Thirds will be a little harder for the Piggies to prepare for, as they aren’t sure what the team will look like.
"They brought up a weak team a couple of weeks ago, but I don’t think that will be much of a reflection on the team they’ll be bringing this week," McGeachy said. "We’re expecting a much better team for sure."
The key for both the First and Third division Piggies will be in the backs.
"We want to be able to move the ball around the field a bit and score some points that way," McGeachy said. "Both teams are young. We’re a bit on the small side, but we have speed and skill."
Both Cowichan teams will be playing for a berth in a B.C. semifinal. The Firsts will play UBC if they advance, while the Thirds’ opponent is yet to be determined. That won’t matter unless Cowichan can vanquish Velox.
"We’re not looking past this weekend," McGeachy emphasized. "Velox has been our toughest test all year. They’ve been the numberone team on our radar all season, and until we beat them, they will be the number-one team."
The Thirds play Velox at 1 p.m. on Sunday, followed by the Firsts in the same matchup at 2:30 p.m.