Playoff game not pretty for Cowichan senior boys' rugby

Ben Iwasyk and his Cowichan T-Birds boys
Ben Iwasyk and his Cowichan T-Birds boys' rugby teammates have one more shot at a provincial berth.
— image credit: Don Bodger/file

Injuries, illness and lack of discipline combined in disastrous fashion when the Cowichan T-Birds battled Vanier in a high school boys' AAA rugby playoff.

"We had to make six changes to the starting lineup that played against Port Alberni,'' noted Cowichan coach Ron Glass of a previous successful playoff that set up the matchup with Vanier.

"This was just too much of a task to overcome. Losing a player in one position is tough. Two is very tough, more than that a Herculean feat.''

Despite the 45-7 setback, Glass indicated the T-Birds played hard and had good structure but they were just beaten in the one-on-one battles.

Vanier romped ahead 28-0 at halftime. Cowichan's reinforcements in the second half attempted to stop the bleeding but Vanier was just too strong.

Ben Iwasyk and Sean Barrett provided a bright light for Cowichan with their efforts in loose play.

Barrett created the lone Cowichan scoring play when he stole the ball at the breakdown, romped 40 metres after attacking the Vanier defence and fed Cam Horsburgh for the try. Kyle Joe converted.

The T-Birds will have at least five of the six previous starters back in action when they play the final provincial qualifying game Thursday at St. Michael's University School in Victoria against Spectrum.

The winner proceeds to the B.C. championships. The first round is May 24 followed by the main tournament at Abbotsford May 28, 29 and 31.


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