The Cowichan Piggies got the senior men’s rugby season off to a successful start last Saturday with a “massive” 45-29 road win over Castaway Wanderers.
It’s always a little intimidating to face Castaways, Cowichan head coach Andrew Wright acknowledged, because the big club has the depth to field three men’s sides, but the Piggies are never a team to back down.
“You always want to win and try your best,” Wright said.
The Piggies came out strong, and went up early when Owen Wood dotted down in the corner for the first try of the season around the three-minute mark. At 11 minutes, Kieran Lauridsen, back with Cowichan after playing in Victoria last year, finished a phase of good ball movement with a try of his own. Noah Dobson, usually a forward but playing in the centres this time, scored next, then rookie Colten Smith earned a try in his first senior men’s game.
“It was a big thrill for him,” Wright said of Smith. “He’s the youngest guy on our team by far.”
Dobson added another, and with Jenner Teufel converting four of five Cowichan tries, the Piggies held a remarkable 33-0 edge at halftime.
Castaways got on the board in the second half, but Alucious Gray responded a few minutes later by stealing a ball and taking it across the line. Castaways added another, but Teufel then added a try to his impressive kicking display. The home team had the final three tries of the match, but couldn’t overcome Cowichan’s strong start.
“Castaways did win the second half,” Wright admitted. “But we scored enough in the first half and a few in the second half to hold them off.”
That match was the first of six Times Cup Island championship games for Cowichan, whose season will also include regular-season Cowichan Cup matches, and a series of third division games.
“It’s a really good mix of levels for the guys to play and have their lives as well,” Wright said.
The Piggies will head to Comox for an exhibition game this Saturday, with the senior women opening their season there as well. The club’s home opener will take place the following weekend with another Times Cup game against James Bay.