Story and images by Erich Eichhorn (ISN)
July 14, 2015 Cowichan, BC – In some British sporting circles, and exhibition game is called a “friendly”. A game is called a “fixture”, “match”, or a “test”. A pair of Cowichan rugby teams got both a friendly and a test Tuesday night in against a touring English 15’s rugby side at Piggie Park in Cowichan.
The junior Tsunami gang tackle a St. Peter’s runner, hoping to stop the scoring unslaught – Erich Eichhorn image (ww.allsportmedia.ca)
The touring team, from St. Peter’s School in York, England, is one of a few teams visiting the island in search of like rugby squads willing to take on the representative British sides. St. Peter’s team landed in Canada July 5th, and have already played matches in Alberta and the B.C. mainland in a whirlwind Canadian tour, that has already seen a fair share of lopsided wins for the explosive York side.
The running attack of the British side was relentless, testing the edurance of the Cowichan team in a 34-5 loss. – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)
In a somber note, one of those visiting teams, from Wallington County Grammer School, to play the Tsunami has returned to England after one of their players, Adul-Jamal Ottun, 17, drowned in a tragic swimming accident on Shawnigan Lake Sunday evening. Prior to the start of the evening’s games, teams and spectators, took a moment of silence to reflect in the loss.
Teams stand united, taking a moment to reflect in the loss of rugby’s own before kick off – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)
The Tsunami Rugby boys U16 and U18, hosting St. Peter’s School, got a first hand “test” of their York counterparts, unfortunately falling well short of the mark against both sides in the early evening matches.
The Tsunami had their own running game, however the English side had the defensive answer holding the host team to 5 points in the game – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)
Testing the local team’s endurance, ball handling, and speed, the English side would dominate. In the U16 fixture, England would run off three consecutive trys, before the Tsunami would find an answer with a well executed line out, affording the local side the opportunity to spread the field and find the corner try line trailing 19-5 at the half. St.Peter’s would go answered in the second half, running in for another four trys to take the victory 34-5.
A St. Peter’s player makes the Tsunami pay for a committed tackle as another player waits in the wing for the hand off of the ball – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)
The U18 boys would find much the same opposition. Although a much more physical team than England, the sustained up-field pressure by St. Peter’s would be too much for the Vancouver Island team to defend against. England would run up a 31-5 score at the half. The U18’s would be resilient to open the second half, knocking back St. Peter’s with their physical play, ultimately breaking down the defensive line to put the ball down across the mark to inch closer 34-10.
A sustained push early in the second half would result in the second try of the game for the host side after this ball is quickly delivered out of the scrum – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)
No manners used here as a St. Peter’s player pushes aside a would be tackler to advance the ball – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)
St. Peter’s would dominate the game up 34-10 minutes into the second half, despite the physical play of the Cowichan-based team – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)
At ISN submission deadline, the game remained 34-10 in the second half, in favor of St. Peter’s School.