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Port Alberni Black Sheep Rugby Club wins Cowichan Cup

Sheep defeated the Nanaimo Hornets 30-24
The Port Alberni Black Sheep celebrate their Cowichan Cup win in Nanaimo on Saturday, Feb. 10. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)

The Port Alberni Black Sheep Rugby Club has won the Cowichan Cup.

The Black Sheep picked up the cup after a 30-24 win against the Nanaimo Hornets on Saturday, Feb. 10. While the Black Sheep usually compete for the Times Colonist Cup, which is awarded to the top team on Vancouver Island, head coach Jas Purewal says this wasn’t possible for the 2023-24 season because of their BC Rugby schedule.

Instead, the Black Sheep played against the Cowichan Piggies and the Nanaimo Hornets for the Cowichan Cup.

“The Cowichan Cup is not played regularly,” he explained. “It’s on and off. It’s one of those unique years, where because of the scheduling there was no [Vancouver Island] championship.”

Although Nanaimo opened the scoring on Feb. 10 with an unconverted try, the Black Sheep came back with a penalty goal from Ty Shannon and a try from Mat Kelly. Shannon added one more penalty goal and two tries on the match, while Anthony Selva added another try for the visiting team.

Nanaimo scored on the last play of the game, but the Black Sheep still managed to take the 30-24 win and claim the Cowichan Cup.

“We were fortunate enough to come away with the win,” said Purewal.

After several months on the road, the Black Sheep are finally returning to their home pitch on Saturday, March 2 for a game against Abbotsford. Kickoff is at 1 p.m.

“It’s been a very challenging schedule for us, with a lot of games on the road,” admitted Purewal. “We’re hoping things will get a bit better for us now that we’ve got a few home games coming up.”

The Black Sheep are sitting in third place in Men’s Div. 1 rugby standings, just behind Abbotsford and the Vancouver Rowing Club. Purewal says the team is starting to get healthy again after a few injuries earlier in the season.

“Hopefully we can make a good playoff push,” he said.

Elena Rardon

About the Author: Elena Rardon

I have worked with the Alberni Valley News since 2016.
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