The Cowichan Piggies were up 20–3 against the Port Alberni Black Sheep at halftime last weekend and all seemed lost for the visiting Sheep.
But the Piggies’ three straight tries in the first half soon became a thing of the past as the Black Sheep found their wheels. Dane Dentoom scored the first Black Sheep try on an inside pass from Ty Shannon. A Todd Daradics conversion cut Cowichan’s lead in half, to 20–10. Six minutes later Lewis Mearns scored on a run down the sidelines to bring the Sheep to within three points.
Cowichan went ahead 23–17 on a penalty kick, but Ryan Turner brought the Sheep close and Daradics kicked the conversion for the winning point. Despite having to defend inside their 10-yard line for the final 10 minutes, the Sheep held on to their 24–23 win
Cowichan plays a game with rolling mauls and punishing scrums in an effort to shut down their opponents. “That was their strategy of the day; keep the ball out of our hands was their philosophy,” Black Sheep head coach Jas Purewal.
But the Piggies couldn’t solve the Sheep back line, which Purewal calls “dangerous”: Daradics, Shannon, Turner and Troy Rata. “When we get moving we can cover a lot of area,” Purewal said.
The win sets up a big weekend for Port Alberni. If the Black Sheep can beat Castaway Wanderers in two weeks they will then host the Times Colonist Cup Island final in Port Alberni on Dec. 3.
“What we really want to do is go down and win. A win guarantees us first place,” Purewal said.
“We control our own destiny.”
In other Black Sheep action, the Div. 3 men lost 37–26 in Powell River. Tries came from Troy Dhillon with a pair, and singles from Jack Rokotuiwakaya and Evan Thomas. Joz Kurucz kicked three conversions.
The U17 boys smacked Nanaimo 36–17 on the road, giving them a hard-earned two-game winning streak. Luke Bradley scored four tries while Colton Walton added another. LJ Rose kicked four conversions and a penalty goal.
The Lady Sheep lost 65–3 to a strong UVic side. Jane Cruttenden scored Port Alberni’s lone penalty kick.
“The cool thing with UVic is we have four of our ex-girls playing with them,” Purewal said. Sarah Logan, Karli McFarlane, Jessica Moretto and Roxanne Neville all played high school rugby in Port Alberni.
The U17 boys host Velox on Sunday, Nov. 20 at 1 p.m. at the Black Sheep rugby club. The Div. 3 men are in Nanaimo at 1 p.m., the Lady Sheep are in Victoria to play Velox and the Div. 1 men have a bye.