Brentwood-Cowichan Rugby Fusion
Rugby is a difficult game. Filled with counter-intuitive rules and opposite sides making physical contact with force and strength, it is surprising that anyone plays this sport at all. Yet Brentwood always sees many boys sign up to play three times a week, and for the second year there is a group of nine which has decided that three days just isn’t enough.
These athletes also practice and play for the Cowichan Rugby Football Club alongside their school season rivals: Shawnigan, Kelsey, and Cowichan High. With that competition set aside, the team can forge bonds and friendships while playing and competing at a high level.
The first game of the season came after only one practice, with instructions to “just play rugby”. This was against the very competitive Castaway Wanderers. In a gritty, back-and-forth match, Cowichan pulled out its first victory of the season. That set the tempo for the rest of the season, and the Cowichan boys have yet to lose a game (although there was one draw).
Coached by Brentwood’s Head Rugby Coach, Shane Thompson, the team practices every Wednesday night and has games on Sundays. Brentwood and Shawnigan share a bus to these practices which pack a great deal of content into a short amount of time. The players warm up quickly, then move on to practicing the weaker points exposed in the previous game. The last half hour is devoted to making and practicing new plays, which often have great results when run in competition.
Cowichan plays a high energy game of rugby, quickly moving the ball through the backs and scoring many of their points through those breaks. That is not to underestimate the power of the forwards, however, who are the motor of the team. With consistent rucking and explosive breaks, the big men consistently carry the team forward.
This combination of the team’s attributes led them to the playoffs, where they would outplay their first opponent, West Shore, on the 13th of November. This added to Cowichan’s ever-growing momentum as they headed to Vancouver to face Capilanos Rugby Club in the semifinals. The end result of that cold, muddy affair was a decisive Cowichan victory: 20 points to 3. The CRFC will now head down to Victoria to take on the Castaway Wanderers in their final match of the year. There will be high emotions and great plays that will make for an epic finale.
Win or lose in this coming game, the team has had an excellent season, growing in skill and camaraderie. The Brentwood players go back to their team as leaders and all are thankful for this opportunity.
Keiran MH, Rogers ‘17