The Cowichan Piggies’ season came to an end last Saturday with a road loss to the Nanaimo Hornets in the Island men’s First Division rugby playoffs.
The Piggies couldn’t match the Hornets’ fast start, and by the time they got things going in the second half, it was too late, and Nanaimo ended up winning 31-14.
“They came out guns-a-blazing,” Cowichan head coach Andrew Wright said. “Nanaimo obviously wanted to prove something from the week before.”
Coming off a loss to Cowichan on their own turf seven days earlier, the Hornets scored their first try just five minutes into the game, and led 18-0 at halftime.
“We tried to rectify it throughout the half,” Wright recalled. “The boys tried different things to get the flow going, but it didn’t work. Nanaimo was the better side on the day.”
The Piggies scored twice in the second half. On the first try, Mike Roberts got the ball to Andrew Gudmundseth, who fed the ball to Taylor de Souza, and he scored in the corner. Jenner Teufel slotted the tricky conversion from the sideline. On the second, Teufel scooped up the ball from a ruck and ran straight through to score under the posts, setting up an easy conversion for himself.
“Jenner was outstanding all season,” Wright said of the Cowichan assistant captain. “He definitely played really well.”
Noah Dobson and Scotty MacLeod had strong games for the Piggies in the forward pack.
“We were missing a couple starters [Peyton Eagar and Kyle Joe], who were away playing for Canada,” Wright noted. “But that’s not an excuse why we lost.”
The Piggies improved drastically over the course of the season after starting training last August with low numbers.
“We had a pretty good rebuilding year,” Wright said. “I didn’t really want to say that word, rebuilding, to the boys, because I didn’t want to use that as an excuse, but it was. We lost about five starters from the year before. To finish the way we did was as much as a coach or a fan or a player could hope for.”