Liam Simmonds gains ground for the Piggies deep in Alberni’s end during the first half of last Saturday’s Cowichan win. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

Liam Simmonds gains ground for the Piggies deep in Alberni’s end during the first half of last Saturday’s Cowichan win. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

Piggies build off great start for big win over Black Sheep

Rugby clubs have this weekend off for Canada Sevens

A great start to the match propelled the Cowichan Piggies to a 28-10 victory over the Port Alberni Black Sheep in men’s First Division rugby at the Herd Road pitch last Saturday afternoon.

“The boys were focused and had the right mindset right off the top,” praised Cowichan head coach Andrew Wright.

The Piggies were on the board before the game was five minutes old after Robin Gusse took a quick tap penalty pass and powered over the line. Owen Wood slotted the conversion, his first of three on the day.

Cowichan found a way to control most of the game after that.

“It was a pretty scrambled game of rugby,” Wright commented. “But we know how to play that game.”

After a lineout and a handful of phases, Louis Gudmundseth took some knocks and got the ball over the line to put Cowichan ahead 14-0. Port got on the board after making their way down the field through a series of penalties and scored on a driving maul, but didn’t make the kick and the Piggies led 14-5 at halftime.

The Piggies came out firing in the second half, and Port soon had two men in the sin bin. Cowichan used the advantage in numbers to get a try from Colten Smith, followed by a penalty try on which Wood didn’t have to kick the conversion. Alberni managed to add one more before the game ended.

The rivals will meet again in the Island championship a week after Easter, and the final two First Division games for each team will determine who hosts. Wright feels good about Cowichan’s chances.

“Things are looking good,” he said. “The boys are feeling it.”

All clubs have this week off while the World Rugby Sevens Series hits Vancouver. The Piggies will be at home against Nanaimo the following week.

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