Day 11, 3 to go. Tonight we play Cowichan in our final match but first the adults were able to enjoy a leisurly day with their hosts prior to the group reconvening at 1715 hrs; no news from the kids being good news all was well and a variety of activities was enjoyed by various parties, but it ain't about us so:
1715 hrs The Meet at Cowichan RFC, all the boys returned unscathed and, in most cases, happy with their billets where they had received great hospitality in a variety of different ways: barbecues, parties, teenage girls, swimming, hot tubs, cinema and more. Sonny had however lost his boots!! On monday!!! But only mentioned it in passing today!!!! We changed, and following a team talk in the stand from Matt Evans, Canada U20 (U19, U18 Capt, U17 Capt) and former Salisbury Mini, warmed up on the green,green grass of Cowichan. Sadly Cowichan were also struggling for numbers following the hectic BC Championships and so all 3 replacements were called upon to turn out for the hosts and did so, with some reluctance, but in good spirit. It should be emphasised at this juncture that it is a very big ask of the boys to leave the security of a familiar playing environment when they are desperate to play for their own team. Ollie Reeves, Tim Fisher and Sonny Dewfall joined the Cowichan Piggies for the first half, Steve Hewkin, Jom Hall and Tom Ranoboldo replaced them for the second (Ranoboldo even had the temerity to score for The Piggies, no shame that boy but you may have gleaned that yourselves from the photos on the Blog!!) and all played exceptionally well. The match was what we expected with Canadians tearing into the contact areas but now, battle hardened after 2 games, the tourists were prepared to stand toe to toe, Ben Taylor finshed a move off down the right and then Tom Heathcote added a second under the posts, and a conversion. The move of the tour followed when Danny Chapple caught the restart and drove hard into the opposition who were penalised as they attempted to stop the rampant Salisbury pack. Heathcote kicked long for touch, Steve Hewkin found Nathan Francis at the line out, David Tonge flashed the ball left, Heathcote found Tom Guild hitting the line at pace who drew the cover before releasing Will Wilford to score in the corner to generous applause from the sizeable crowd. Fantastic!!! Taylor rounded off the half with another try, following more good work at the contact area from Mikey Daniels. Attempts by the Piggies to get back into the game were neatly dealt with by Joe Alward, Tonge, Guild and Wilford. Half time 0 - 22. Salisbury took their foot off the gas and the Piggies dropped a goal from a line out and pressed forward seeking another score. Monumental efforts from Tim Fisher, Chapple, Ranoboldo and Francis drove Cowichan back and then Salisbury got their second wind despite losing Guild and Reeves to injuries (Don't worry mums, Naomi is a nurse and Tom Ranoboldo is practising with his Junior Doctors Kit prior to buying his own Porsche). Jake McConnell moved to the left wing and promptly finished off a move and then Ranoboldo seeemingly ran in from 30 yds scattering opponents in his wake (Tom claims that it was 80 yds and that he personally handed off at least 35 tacklers, some of them twice!). James Starkey ran hard at the defence time after time to ignite more attacking moves and, although overlaps were squandered, Heathcote was next to score, belatedly finding his kicking boots to convert. Ranoboldo, now playing for the hosts, bashed and boshed his way the Salisbury line and, despite the best attempts of his former team mates to render him unconscious or sterile, touched down. This roused Salisbury for one final effort, Chapple and Ryan Cobb drove and offloded well, Sonny Dewfall, Francis, and Jon Hall carried the move on before an exquisute pass saw McConnell cross again (we'll never get him back in the pack now!) and Heathcote added the final points, 10-46.
Cowichan providee a splendid post match banquet, Hewkin and Heathcote made eloquent speeches, and then billeters and billetees rode off into the sunset, to reconvene tomorrow at 1015 hrs for some sea kayaking and the SRFC U16 Tour Crazy Golf Open Championships, the old guys really fancying their chances at this one!!
We never asked why they were called the Piggies?? Google !