This Has A Nice Look To It!
Today, we call upon The Sage on the Sidelines for a take on the weekend matches. “Saturday past saw CW men on the road for the first time this season. The Lomadome was the venue, facing a Reserve team that sat atop the table, undefeated and a Premier side in the cellar. The coaches, knowing full well of the challenges, had the boys well prepared for the fray. The pitch was in good nick however the falling rain saw some handling challenges in the curtain-raiser. Lomas II’s started well with a powerful pack and nippy backs causing issues. The visitors did manage to come close following quality work in the set and lineout re-starts and the commitment was good but despite this effort they were made aware of the “benchmark”, finding themselves down, 0 – 17 at the interval. CW was able to keep Lomas to one try in the second stanza for a final, 0 – 22 down on the day against a four-try, bonus point performance by the hosts. The boys gave the Hard Hat to Gareth Sandner. The Divvies close out their “first half” next Saturday at Piggy Park, testing themselves against the best of the Island II’s.
The Premier contest opened with pace and physicality. James Pitblado forced the pace of the game from his #9 position. The set pieces – lineouts being evenly matched, scrums being disparate to CW, a fact more noticeable as the match progressed; became a separating factor. I must note the leadership of the Captain, Nate Stewart; the playing to exhaustion of Mike Finnemore (player’s Hard hat Award) but especially, the effort of Matt Sutherland. Suddsy had been ill all week yet embraced his selection in the engine room, playing a ‘blinder’, ‘onya, Suds! In the backs, Cam Hall continues to inspire confidence and Owen gutted out an injury in brave fashion. The real danger men on this day, Kegode, Adibe, Dalsin and Schelly seemed to pop up “everywhere” to fashion three tries. The final score was 33 – 5, a bonus point win and a catapult into first place to end the “first half", undefeated and having an excellent defensive record. Thanks to our hosts, post-match time being ever so brief and thanks to the day’s officials.” The bus trip to the ferry was evidently epic. (Ed. The boys now go into hibernation until January 19th when they take on locals, Westshore “Valhallians” at The House. Well done all and keep an eye on the prize for you will have some very serious “second-half” challenges with that target on your backs!)
CW Women wind up their “exhibition” season top of the table as well but like the men, the challenges will be coming from all quarters in every game, post-Christmas. Most unfortunately on Saturday, the Cowichan Women were unable to meet the commitment but all’s well. Well done and enjoy the break.
Windsor Park and near perfect weather conditions were the backdrop for the Islanders vs Comox rematch. These two teams last met in the spring since the islanders failed to muster numbers to travel to Comox earlier in the fall - which led to a costly default. The result of yesterday’s match was quite different. Comox travelled with twelve players including a Malahat pickup. CW matched numbers and the game ensued, officiated by a ‘recent arrival’ form the mainland. The roster for CW included some very welcome returning players - Will Tarrant, recently returned from New Zealand, Max Freund, back from injury, and ‘The Queen’ - Brandon Gerhardt- who has seen the light and returned from Alberta. Other notable helpers were three Westshore / Ebb Tide stalwarts who enabled us to field a team which has proven challenging all year without access to the division one bench. (Ed. Surely this is the spirit of Island Div. II.)
The story of the game itself was really about good defence and the offensive flare of the returning players. 60-12 was the final score but the game seemed closer than the scoring indicated. Long stretches of very good defence by both teams were unsettled by devastating line breaks by CW or effective kicks from The Queen who played fly half. Tries were scored by Brandon Gerhardt (3), Will Tarrant (2) Max Freund MoM (2), Moses Mukasa MoM (1), and Paul Eby (1- on loan from Ebb Tide/Westshore) and new to CW player Conrad Pugh (1). Conrad proved to be a tackling machine as well as an offensive threat. Enoch Bachmann kicked 5 conversions and had a strong game, setting up a couple of tries. Hats off to our front rowers- Noa Molia, Lee Wakely and Max Freund who helped secured quality ball all day for the backs. Visitor’s tries were scored by a very capable #7 and captain who proved just too hard to tackle, more than once.
No major injuries were seen and a great post-game at the Temple was appreciated by all. Thanks to the road warriors, and the helpers (including Ebbtide helpers, Dray, Sheena and the ATs) who all helped make the game or post-game possible. (So, thanks to The Don for this report. Still sounds like it could use more numbers.)