Robin Gusse scored two tries for Cowichan in the Piggies’ 24-20 win over Westshore last Saturday. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

Piggies beat Westshore in Times Cup opener

Cowichan pulls off close win over Island rivals

The Cowichan Piggies opened Times Cup play last Saturday with a 24-0 win at home over Westshore.

“We didn’t waste any time,” Cowichan coach Andrew Wright said. “Within 10 minutes, both teams were given yellow cards. That’s how it goes against Westshore. It’s high-octane, high-tempo, a good contest.”

The teams settled down after that and Cowichan opened the scoring with a try by Thomas Molyneux on an open-field counter-attack, converted by Owen Wood. The match went into a stalemate after that until Westshore replied with an unconverted try around the 20-minute mark. Robin Gusse added to Cowichan’s lead with a try from a driving maul, and Westshore took a quick tap to score in stoppage time, making it 12-10 at halftime.

Westshore took their first lead of the game in the second half, making their way through the Cowichan centres from a set piece pretty far out. It stayed 15-12 for Westshore until the 70-minute mark when Noah Dobson scored, with Wood’s conversion making it 19-15. Gusse’s second try made it 24-15 before Westshore added one more from a penalty tap in the late going.

“All in all, it was a pretty strong battle by both sides,” Wright commented. “It was fairly chippy in the second half, but the referee held his own. Both teams should be fairly happy, especially us, going up against a strong side like that.”

Cowichan played a man down for most of the second half after two yellow cards added up to a red.

“Two be down three points and come back and take the lead in those circumstances is pretty phenomenal,” Wright said.

The Piggies have this weekend off, then head to Port Alberni the following weekend.

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