Black Sheep in tough as playoff round opens

The Port Alberni Black Sheep played spoiler against the Nanaimo Hornets on Saturday.

Asaeli Rokotuiwakaya crosses the goal line ahead of a Nanaimo Hornet defender to score the go-ahead try for the Port Alberni Black Sheep near the end of the first half

The Port Alberni Black Sheep played spoiler against the Nanaimo Hornets on Saturday enroute to a win for their final BC Rugby Union regular season on home turf.

“It’s been a tough go,” coach Jas Purewal said.

The Black Sheep beat Nanaimo Hornets 26–23 in a hard-fought contest.

Nanaimo went ahead 8–0 before Port Alberni’s Ryan Turner could put them on the board with his first try since he was injured early on in the season. Jordan Kurucz converted the try and suddenly it was only 8–7.

Nanaimo scored a penalty goal to go up 11–7 but Asaeli Rokotuiwakaya scored in the corner and Kurucz converted it to put the Black Sheep ahead 14–11 for halftime.

Nanaimo scored 12 unanswered points to lead off the second half, but instead of rolling over the Black Sheep dug in, Purewal said. “Then the boys put a good 20-minute effort in.”

Joe Kalugin scored an unconverted try, Pex Leweni scored and Kurucz converted it and suddenly the Black Sheep were up 26–23. “We defended our goal line for the last few minutes against Nanaimo,” Purewal said.

The Black Sheep head south for a Cowichan Cup playoff semi-final game against Westshore on Saturday at 1 p.m.