When the Cowichan Piggies trounced the Port Alberni Black Sheep in an exhibition match ahead of the Second Division men’s rugby season, coach Andrew Wright expected a closer result when the teams met again to open the regular season.
It didn’t quite play out that way as the Piggies defeated Alberni 44-3 at the Herd Road pitch last Saturday afternoon.
“They didn’t bring the players I thought they were going to bring,” Wright said.
While the Black Sheep didn’t have a deep bench to draw from, the Piggies had a full slate of 22, all of whom got into the match, including Zac Simon and Harry Seymour, at 17 and 18 the youngest players on the roster.
“They both touched the ball a few times,” Wright noted. “It was good to see them out there.”
Bruce Moss scored the first two tries, with Owen Wood converting the second. Alberni kicked a penalty to make it 12-3, but that was as close as it would get. Myles Vaneeuwen and Andrew Gudmundseth added tries before halftime, and Louis Gudmundseth had two and Phil Slater added one in the second half. Wood finished with nine points on a penalty goal and three conversions.
It wasn’t a perfect match, but Wright was pleased to open the season with a victory.
“There are some things we want to work on technically,” he said.
Familiarity got the best of both teams as things got testy toward the end of the match.
“There’s a lot of hard-hitting rivalry with that team,” Wright conceded. “On both sides, tempers got lost, or the excitement got overwhelming.”
The teams will have lots of time to cool off, as that was their lone meeting of the Times Cup competition, and they won’t see each other again until spring.
The Piggies will be at home again this coming weekend, hosting the Comox Valley Kickers on Saturday at 1 p.m.
“They’re not going to test our abilities too much,” Wright speculated. “Hopefully our young guys get some more good playing time. We’ll try to focus on our systems instead of who we’re playing against.”