Other than a brief lapse early in the second half of their match, the Cowichan Piggies kept pace with one of the province’s top First Division men’s rugby teams at Piggy Park last Saturday.
The Surrey Beavers scored three quick tries just after the midway break to win 43-22, but take away that rough patch and the game ends in a tie.
“On a different day, it could have been a lot closer, and everyone recognizes that,” Cowichan head coach Andrew Wright said. “There are a lot of positives coming out of the team.”
The teams traded penalty goals in the early going, Cowichan’s slotted by Owen Wood. Surrey scored an open-field try a few minutes later, but the Piggies took advantage of a yellow card to the Beavers to generate an open-field try of their own, finished off by Thomas Molyneux. At halftime, the Piggies were tied 8-8 with the bigger and stronger Surrey side.
It was after the break that things fell apart for Cowichan.
“I don’t know what happened in the second half,” Wright said. “The open-field tackles didn’t work for us, and we had a short bench.”
The Piggies kept “going through the paces,” Wright said, and it worked in their favour.
“They were getting penalties and getting frustrated, and we were keeping to our game.”
Danny Hamstra scored on a quick tap, and the Piggies were awarded a penalty try, while Surrey racked up four yellow cards in a testy match.
“We just held our cool and kept trying to play,” Wright said. “In the end, they got the better of us. The score didn’t dictate how close the game actually was.”
The Piggies will face another strong side this weekend when they travel to the Mainland to visit the Bayside Sharks, the defending First Division champions. Cowichan will host UVic on Nov. 19, in their last game of this half of the season.