Cowichan’s Natasha Smith pushes past the Seattle defence during the teams’ meeting at Piggy Park earlier this spring. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

Cowichan’s Natasha Smith pushes past the Seattle defence during the teams’ meeting at Piggy Park earlier this spring. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

Premiership season ends with loss to Seattle

Cowichan’s best result on top women’s rugby circuit

The Premiership rugby season came to an end for the Cowichan Rugby Football Club’s senior women’s team last Saturday with a provincial semifinal loss to the Seattle Saracens.

The teams met at Bellingham’s Chuckanut pitch for the playoff game, which also served as the rubber match in the clubs’ season series after Cowichan won on their own turf 66-47 and the Saracens won 106-0 in Seattle.

The Saracens opened the scoring, but Cowichan responded quickly.

“Seattle got on the board right away, but that just made everyone step it up just a little,” Cowichan forward Sherry Spence said. “We held off Seattle in our own end with solid defence and then went back.”

Cowichan got the ball in the hands of Rebecca Kerswell, who sped down the field to get Cowichan on the board.

“Flying at full pace, no one can stop her,” Spence said.

Carolyn Gudmundseth also scored for Cowichan in the first half, and the halftime tally was 26-10 in Seattle’s favour.

“We felt good at half,” Spence said. “We were still in the game at that point. Unfortunately, as the game progressed, Seattle made a few subs, which was something we were lacking.”

Gudmundseth went on a big run before offloading the ball to Natasha Smith, who scored Cowichan’s third try, and Kelly Russell crashed over for her team’s final try, which Avi Sharabi converted. Seattle led 66-22 when the final whistle sounded.

Cowichan’s second year in B.C.’s top women’s league ended earlier than the team would have liked, but the team still has a lot to be proud of.

“The rugby community should be proud of the accomplishments that we were able to achieve,” Spence said. “It wasn’t the result we were hoping for but it was a year of great rugby nonetheless.”

Team captain and Canadian international Laura Russell was equally pleased with the year.

“I’m extremely proud of the season the Piggies have had,” she said. “This is my fourth year with the club and it has grown immensely. The hard work and dedication these ladies have to the club led us to our best finish ever in the Premier League.”