Saturday’s game between Port Alberni and the UVic Norsemen was a “must-win” situation for the Black Sheep, but the home team wasn’t able to pull through.
The Black Sheep fell 50-21 to the visiting Norsemen, and consequently lost a place in the TC Cup Finals.
“We needed a win today to get into the final, and we didn’t get one,” said Black Sheep head coach Jas Purewal after the loss.
The Sheep started strong, holding the Norsemen to a 7-7 tie after halftime. But in the second half, UVic went on to score 24 points before the Sheep were able to answer.
“In the second half we had a bit of a Valley,” Purewal explained. “We never recuperated after that.”
Black Sheep tries came from Ty Shannon, Troy Dhillon and Bob Brown, with Shannon converting all three of them.
The UVic Norsemen are a particularly strong team, going undefeated in Vancouver Island Rugby Union action this season.
“They’ve got so much speed,” said Purewal. “You’ve got to be able to look after the ball, and we missed some opportunities.”
In addition, Port Alberni has struggled for most of the season with missing bodies, losing a number of players to work, family commitments or injuries. But the challenges, said Purewal, have presented an opportunity for younger and newer players to step up and get some experience.
The Black Sheep face Cowichan next weekend in their final TC Cup game of the season. B.C. Rugby Union action continues afterwards, with the Sheep returning home on Saturday, Feb. 23 for a game against United.