Shawnigan takes battle with Cowichan T-Birds

Shawnigan Lake School didn’t control the ball much during their senior girls rugby match against Cowichan Secondary last Thursday, but took full advantage when they did and finished on top, 12-0, in a close battle.

"The Cowichan game was an interesting one with Cowichan not the same team as they were last year," Shawnigan coach Mark Hall said. "Having said that, they were well organized and they played to their strengths. They dominated possession for most of the second half but didn’t seem to be able to mount a threatening attack."

Cowichan head coach Brad Skene wasn’t disappointed with what his team accomplished in the game.

"I thought we played with a lot of intensity and heart," he said. "We have a very strong record against Shawnigan with many close, hard games and this was another in that series. Unfortunately, we didn’t come out on top."

Skene gave full credit to Shawnigan, particularly a group of experienced senior players, led by national sevens team member Hannah Darling, who made a big difference.

"From my perspective, it was great to play a difficult game with a number of athletes who challenged us and it was great preparation for the playoffs," he said. "We had a lot of possession and territory but couldn’t turn it into points. After making a few corrections, I am sure that these positives will become points at Islands and B.C.’s."

Hall hoped his team learned some lessons from the game.

"What our players didn’t do in the second half was use the small amount of ball they had wisely," he said. "They kept running back into the Cowichan forwards instead of using the space available out on the backline, particularly when making positive tackles and turning the ball over. This is something we can correct but must get it right by the time provincials come around."

The Shawnigan coach identified a few other areas where his team needs improvement.

"The other things we need work on are scrummaging, lineout work and cutting down on penalties," he said. "So lots to do."

Both Shawnigan and Cowichan will head to the provincial sevens tournament at the University of British Columbia this weekend. The Cowichan Thunderbirds are the defending provincial champions and are seeded seventh going in.