Scrumhalf Paula Simpson looks to pass the ball. Photo by Jesse Ramsay

Comox Valley women’s rugby team defeats Castaway Wanderers

Men play to draw with Victoria side

The Comox Valley Kickers men’s and women’s rugby teams both played the Castaway Wanderers on Saturday.

It was a case of déjà vu for the women as it was the second meeting of the season with CW. The Kickers won the previous game 45-29. Saturday’s game at Cumberland Village Park was an exciting, back-and-forth tilt full of big hits, long runs and sound set pieces. After each score, both teams kept their foot on the gas pedal, making it a game of who wanted it more. The Kickers were able to take advantage of the opportunities provided and were able to move the ball in contact with support. Winger Carlie Beaulieu scored twice with flyhalf Kara Galbraith, and flankers Michelle Johnson and Kaitlyn Jinda each scoring once. Scrumhalf Paula Simpson added two tries and successfully converted four kicks for a 43-30 win.

“This was a good game for us as it confirmed our strengths and exposed our weaknesses,” said Kickers Coach Thyssen de Goede. “We allowed CW to score back-to-back tries on us by missing our initial tackles. We need to be quicker in the rucks to maintain possession as when we had the ball, beautiful things happened. Our handling was on point and the backs utilized their speed to get the ball out wide to score. Our scrums were strong; we didn’t lose any of our put ins.

“All in all, I am very happy with how the ladies played. Our next matchup will have us travelling to Victoria to play against the Westshore Valkyries. They will be strong competition, but I believe we will be up to the task.”

Playing at Windsor Park in Victoria, the first match of the season between the Kickers and CW men was an evenly matched game. Inside centre Brandon Hudson scored a hattrick of tries with outside centre Jimmy Blazier scoring twice. Flyhalf Kyle Hall made three conversions. The final score was a 31-31 draw.

“This game was a big improvement from our previous games. We played with more conviction. Our sets were strong and steady, and we ran the ball well,” said Kickers coach Dan Mills.

On Saturday, Oct. 26, the women have a bye while the men host the Port Alberni Black Sheep at Cumberland Village Park. Kick off is 1 p.m.

Both teams are still recruiting players for the season. No experience needed. Practices are held at Cumberland Village Park on Mondays and Thursdays from 6:30-8 p.m.

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