The U16 Cowichan Piggies fought to the final whistle in their provincial championship rugby match in Vancouver last Sunday.
The Piggies had to settle for provincial silver after a 41-24 loss to the UBC Old Boys Ravens, but according to Darren Sage, who coached the team along with Marvin Seymour, they had nothing to regret.
“It always sucks, especially when it’s a championship game, to not win the last game of the season,” Sage said. “It was probably our toughest game all year; we can’t be disappointed with the way they played.”
As hard as they played, things just didn’t click for the Piggies on the day.
“They left everything on the field,” Sage said. “It was just the kind of day where they weren’t all there, but they never gave up until the final minute. There was nothing more we could ask of them.”
The Piggies trailed just 19-12 at halftime and continued trying to close the gap until the end of the game.
“The boys were right in it,” Sage said. “They scored in the final minute of play. They never gave up.”
Cowichan had trailed Castaways by an identical 19-12 tally midway through the Island final two weeks earlier, ultimately coming through with a 44-24 victory. After an up-and-down season, the Piggies peaked in the playoffs and came within a few points of winning the provincial title.
Ciaran Breen led the way for Cowichan with two tries in the B.C. final. Matt McDougall and Torren Kaiser scored one each, and Jamin Hodgkins kicked two conversions.
Breen had previously scored six tries in the Island final.
According to Sage, the players took the loss hard.
“They were disappointed, and rightly so,” he said. “They came into the day feeling they could beat the top team. They were hard on themselves; they were picking apart what they did wrong. As coaches, we couldn’t be prouder. They came a long way this year and left it all out on the field.”
With the junior rugby season now over, most of the Cowichan players will go on to play for their high schools in the spring and the North Island Tsunami rep team in the summer.