A huge second half propelled the Cowichan Secondary Thunderbirds to a 46-17 win over the Alberni District Armada in a AAA girls rugby playoff match last Wednesday.
The score was tied 17-17 after the first half, but the T-Birds made the necessary adjustments to dominate the second half.
“We made a number of handling errors in the first half and Alberni was able to capitalize,” head coach Brad Skene said. “It was a shootout with defensive struggles on both sides. We had a fairly frank conversation at halftime and the team stepped up and showed maturity in terms of changing the flow of the game. Our defence got tighter and we protected the ball.”
The story was vastly different in the second half.
“Possession allowed us to score almost 30 points in the second half,” Skene said. “The work that we have put in towards fitness is paying off. It is good to see a young team dig in and recover.”
Emily Nickerson scored three tries, and Emily Lindsay had two tries and a conversion. Also scoring were Brigitte Reid, Marlee Wright and Jamie Needham, while Amy Oakes also slotted a conversion.
With the win, the T-Birds qualified for the provincial tournament for what is believed to be the 20th year in a row.
Cowichan went on to face Vanier in the AAA Island final, where they lost a lopsided contest. Vanier will head to the B.C. tournament as the top seed in the province, while the T-Birds are ranked sixth.