The Cowichan Valley Lumberjacks had their work cut out for them in their senior boys rugby home opener last week.
The Lumberjacks played at home against a deep Ladysmith team that boasts a handful of provincial-level players, and that ended up making the difference in a 30-7 loss.
“Our focus leading up to this game was proper tackling technique, as we had previously played Ladysmith who literally ran right through us,” Cowichan coach Craig Schmidt said. “Our boys were up to the challenge, although the experienced top players on Ladysmith broke through occasionally.”
The young Cowichan backs, mostly Grade 9 and 10 players, were collectively named the Men of the Match by Schmidt and co-coach Tom Fogarty for they way they put their bodies on the line. The award was shared by Nick Baydal, Justin Marinier, Dominic Gurzinski, Hew Garriock and Dallas Paige.
The Lumberjacks travelled to Courtenay earlier this week to play Vanier, but only 17 players were able to make the trek, including three who were less than 100 per cent physically. Again the Lumberjacks had to settle for a defeat, this time by a 32-7 final tally.
“We had a rough start with missed tackles, but we scored near the end of the first half which gave the boys some renewed confidence,” Schmidt said. “They played a much better second half.”
Grade 9 back Marinier received Man of the Match honours for making several try-saving tackles.
Cowichan played host to Mark R. Isfeld at Cowichan Secondary School on Thursday afternoon.