Madison (MJ) Jumeau tries to pull away from a group of Alberni defenders during last Wednesday’s season opener. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

T-Birds OK with late start to rugby season

Cowichan thumps Alberni in season opener

It took a little longer than usual to get on the pitch this year, but Cowichan Secondary School’s senior girls rugby team was ready when the whistle finally blew.

In their first match of the season, at home against Alberni District last Wednesday, the Thunderbirds romped to a 106-5 victory.

“It’s a late start for games this year due to school districts having opposite spring breaks,” Cowichan coach Sherry Spence explained. “But these girls have been putting in the time and it really paid off.”

Alberni’s lone try came early on, from their always tough forward pack, but after the Cowichan coaches chatted with their players about penalties around the breakdown, the T-Birds took control. Melanie Robertson, who started the game at standoff, got Cowichan on the board with the first of her five tries, which was converted by Kaitlyn Crichton, and the onslaught kept going after that.

Crichton finished with a try and 13 converts, while Mia Eagar and Megan Lewis were just behind Robertson with four tries apiece. Madison (MJ) Jumeau and Lauren River each scored once.

The T-Birds will take on their longtime rivals from North Vancouver, Carson Graham, this Thursday at 3 p.m.

“This will be a huge indicator of where we sit in the province,” Spence said.

Immediately following last Wednesday’s senior game, the Cowichan junior team also faced their counterparts from Alberni, winning 33-10. Alberni again opened the scoring, but Tamara Knight-Robinson responded for Cowichan. Macy Wiebe finished the game with two tries and four conversions, and Matisse also scored a pair.

The junior T-Birds will also face Carson Graham’s juniors this Thursday at 2 p.m.

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