A strong start and strong finish helped the Cowichan Piggies to a 37-17 win over James Bay last Saturday, but the First Division rugby team is still trying to iron out some kicking concerns.
The Piggies played well to open the game, and were rewarded early on when Mike Rea scored a try about six minutes in. Five minutes later, Dan James scored the first of his two tries in the match. James Bay fought back after that to score their first try and make it 10-7, still in Cowichan’s favour.
About halfway through the first half, Bruce Moss went over for Cowichan’s third try, with Jenner Teufel kicking the conversion to make it 17-7. Robbie McDonnell also scored to make it 22-7, and James Bay added one more before the end of the half. Although they dominated play, the Piggies only held a 10-point advantage at the break.
“We scored four times in the first half, so you’d think we would be pretty comfortable,” head coach Gord McGeachy said.
The Piggies put their lead on the line when they came out flat in the first 10 to 15 minutes of the second half, but managed to hold James Bay off.
“We played decent defence,” McGeachy said. “If they had scored, that would have changed the complexion of the game.”
James got some momentum back for the Piggies when he scored his second try about 20 minutes into the half. Bays scored another try, and Cowichan capped off the win with a try from Kieran Lauridsen and a penalty kick by Andrew Gudmundseth.
Although his team ended up winning handily, it troubled McGeachy that only five of the team’s points came from kicking.
“Kicking continues to be an issue for us as it has been all year,” he said. “We’re leaving lots of points on the field. We gave up 10 points in conversions and probably some more in penalty kicks. It’s not a big deal in a game like this, but when every point matters, we need to get that sorted out.”
Cowichan will visit Port Alberni this Saturday for their second meeting of the season with the Black Sheep after a 25-25 tie earlier this fall.
“We had five unconverted tries in that game,” McGeachy recalled. “Kicking was a big factor. Hopefully we’ll get that sorted out for this weekend.”