North Island side to play for bronze after battling to silver on the Island

North Island faced South Island at the Cowichan Rugby Football Club pitch last Sunday with the Island junior girls championship on the line.

A North Island side made up of players from the Cowichan and Comox rugby clubs faced a South Island team at the Cowichan Rugby Football Club pitch last Sunday with the Island junior girls championship on the line.

Although North Island lost the match 20-0, the most important thing was the growth of girls rugby.

“This year, the B.C. Rugby Union has decided to make rugby available for as many junior girls as possible so they changed the format, and we had a very exciting year,” North Island coach Sherry Spence said.

The girls trained hard over the fall, beginning by playing rugby sevens against teams from several Island clubs, and building on the excitement created by Canada winning bronze at the first-ever Olympic women’s sevens tournament in Rio de Janeiro over the summer.

Once that was over, the clubs were divided into North and South Island teams to play XVs, with Cowichan and Comox contributing players to the North.

“So that being said, our team has not practiced together due to the distance between both clubs,” Spence said.

South Island led 5-0 at halftime last Sunday, then pulled away in the second half.

“There were lots of close calls for the North to score, but South was just too strong to the end of the game,” Spence said.

Co-captain and Cowichan product Alexie Pusch was a standout for the North Island side.

Because the goal of the program is to get in as many games as possible, North Island will travel to the Mainland this Sunday to play Bayside for the provincial bronze medal.