White has the right stuff

Cowichan newcomer Allie White uses her amazing talent to run through, around and past Bayside opponents in U18 women’s rugby action at the Herd Road Grounds Sunday. - Don Bodger
Cowichan newcomer Allie White uses her amazing talent to run through, around and past Bayside opponents in U18 women’s rugby action at the Herd Road Grounds Sunday.
— image credit: Don Bodger

Inactivity didn’t cause any rust to form on the Cowichan Rugby Club’s U18 women’s team.

Cowichan came out of the gate strong in a B.C. Rugby Union U18 Women’s League game Sunday at the Herd Road Grounds, building a 27-0 halftime lead en route to a 44-20 victory over top-ranked Bayside.

Cowichan coach Brad Skene was extremely pleased with the performance of his players.

“The game was predicted to be a tough defensive battle,’’ he noted. “Two very quick tries caught the visiting team off guard and continued pressure on offense and defence allowed Cowichan to build their lead.’’

November, to that point, had included a bye, a cancelled game due to weather and the Remembrance Day weekend for Cowichan so the players definitely weren’t coming into it with any momentum.

“We talked before the game about how athletic and skilled Bayside would be and that we need to play our best rugby of the season,’’ Skene indicated.

And that’s exactly what transpired. Allie White and Sam Jory went in for early unconverted tries and Cowichan was off to the races.

Cowichan’s focus was to be mentally strong and to execute under the Bayside pressure and that continued throughout the half, with White scoring two more tries before the half while Adrienne Saari added another and Mackenzie Saysell kicked one conversion.

Bayside fought back in the second half and broke loose for a couple of long tries, but Cowichan maintained control with White’s fourth try of the game, Jory’s second, one from Brittany Reid and another convert from Saysell. White made her scoring sprees looked effortless, using her long strides to easily leave Bayside pursuers in the dust.

Six-foot tall White has aspirations in rugby and, since there wasn’t any U18 option in Victoria and St. Michael’s didn’t have a high school team, she moved to Duncan and enrolled at Cowichan Secondary.

“It is very rewarding that she was attracted to our program at the rugby club and the high school,’’ Skene noted.

He praised all his players for their actions and commitment during the Bayside game.

“There were several key moments in the game where we could have caved under pressure but we stayed strong physically and mentally,” Skene raved.

Unfortunately, due to the tiebreak system and numbers, Cowichan is not playing in a B.C. final this weekend.

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