The Bayside Sharks were in the process of boarding their ferry from Tsawwassen to Duke Point on Saturday afternoon when Cowichan Piggies head coach Andrew Wright was able to reach them and reroute them to Swartz Bay.
The Sharks were scheduled to visit the Piggies for a First Division men’s rugby match, and had they gone through Nanaimo, they wouldn’t have been able to get to the pitch, because of road closures north of Duncan. Bayside managed to switch ferries, while Cowichan sent their bus to Swartz Bay, and it all worked out in the end.
“We were thrilled to have them,” Wright commented. “We don’t want to make that up on a long weekend.”
Unfortunately, things didn’t go well for the Piggies on the field as their “open-door policy” on defence led to a 64-12 win for Bayside. Cowichan started the game better than they had a week earlier, but ended up surrendering 41 straight points to begin the first half. Former junior and high school player Dylan Taylor, giving the senior men’s game a try for the first time this year, got his first start and scored his first try to end the first half.
“He’s a strong player, from a rugby background, and he plays football as well,” Wright said of the promising Taylor. “He can hold his own out there.”
The Piggies came out with a renewed desire in the second half, but the 36-point deficit proved too much to overcome.
“We tried to start a new game at the half, but the damage was done,” Wright said. “Bayside is well-drilled and they’ve been together a long time. They’re a big side.”
Cowichan was able to get under Bayside’s skin and goad the Sharks into taking some yellow cards as the game went on. Noah Dobson added to the scoring when he powered his way through and pounded the ball into the corner, with Owen Wood adding the convert.
“The boys were disappointed in the score,” Wright said. “But I think they understand where we need to go and where we want to be, which is what I want coming out of situations like Saturday.”
There were lots of positive signs last weekend that Wright wants the team to build on going forward. The Piggies head north this Saturday to visit the Comox Kickers in Cumberland at 2:30 p.m.
“We should be able to use our ball and play the rugby that we want to play,” he said. “We’ll keep going forward and iron these kinks out.”