Kickers women, girls victorious again

The home opener for the senior teams of the Comox Valley Kickers Rugby Club was a mixed affair on Saturday. The ladies team started the day with a decisive win over an over-matched and under-prepared Cowichan team. The women had already chalked up the match with a win, as the opposing team arrived with a short roster. Comox loaned five players to Cowichan and played an impressive match, coming out on top 55-10. Natalie Nguyen had an impressive game at scrum half, and the always solid Paula Moore, Kristianna Bouwers, Dana Beirnes and Karlie MacFarlane put some points on the board. Player/coach Aimee Burley and prop Jenn Lund gained some hard yards throughout the game in their signature ruck and roll style. “We have been on the receiving end of these types of games so many times that it’s awesome to see the growth and we are excited to see how we match up against some of the solid mainland teams,” Burley said. The men on the other hand were the ones on the back foot. The first 10 minutes of the game was a frantic hard scrabble of a game with Cowichan pressing the attack and Comox standing firm on defence. When Comox did get the ball in hand they were able to relieve the pressure well and advance the ball across midfield only to spill the ball forward and be under pressure again from the hard-charging Cowichan side. Cowichan was eventually able to capitalize on their opportunity, putting two quick tries across the line. After those two tries Comox was able to regroup and again mount some...

Kickers women, junior girls win season opener

The Comox Valley Kickers opened the season on the weekend with a trio of games. The men’s side, coached by Jesse Ramsey, Aaron L`Arrivee and Brandon Hudson, were in tough against an experienced Westshore side in Nanaimo. The first 20 minutes saw a pitched battle between the 22’s with neither side establishing dominance. In the 25th minute after a penalty advantage and six phases of hard defence, Westshore broke the line for the opening score of the match. On the ensuing kick Westshore knocked it on after three phases of possession. Recognizing an opportunity, Comox went to work putting in eight hard phases before getting a penalty which was taken quickly by Hudson, who passed out of the tackle to a hard running Curtis Card, who crossed the line just right of the posts making an easy kick for Alex Parsons. The game continued mostly in that manner with Westshore getting some lucky breaks on penalties and backing the Kickers right to the goal line, making for a second try for Westshore. In the second half down by a score, Andrew Hextall received a nice inside pass from flyhalf Curtis Card, broke two tackles and put the ball down for Comox’s second of the day. Unfortunately that would prove the end of the Kickers’ scores as they gave some more penalties, allowing Westshore to escape from May Bennett Park with a 24-12 victory. The Kickers women moved up to division 1 this season, and had their first game against the Hornets in Nanaimo. The game was back and forth for the first 10 minutes. A yellow card early in...
U18 Men Take Provincial Title

U18 Men Take Provincial Title

On Sunday the Kickers U18 Mens rugby team won the British Columbia Rugby Union U18 Provincial Championship played at Oak Bays’ Windsor Park Field.  The game pitted the two best junior rugby teams on the Island –  Oak Bay’s Castaway-Wanderers and the Comox Valley/Campbell River Kickers. The game did not start off the way that the visiting team had hoped as they gave up two tries in the first 10 minutes of play and found themselves behind 12-0. The Kickers fought back and narrowed the gap to 17-12 at the half time whistle. The Kickers’ game plan was to use their superior size and wear down the smaller, yet very skilled Castaways team. “Our plan was to eventually wear them down and then capitalize with our bigger players controlling the ball and game.” said head coach Darren Munro, who was assisted by Jim Ebert. “The lads did an excellent job of sticking to the game plan and executing what we as coaches had set out for them.” The plan was working as the score was tied at 24-apiece with about 10 minutes to go and the Campbell River/Comox players controlling the ball and moving down the field. Even the best laid plans can go awry, however, and the ball squirted out the side of a ruck and the Castaways were away and running. The players defended valiantly but the Castaways were able to score and take a 29 -24 lead. “It seemed that the supporters and coaches were more nervous than the players were, because when the boys came to center to kick they had a very determined look on their faces...
A Saturday Filled With Kickers Rugby

A Saturday Filled With Kickers Rugby

It was a big weekend for the Comox Valley Kickers Rugby Club. On Saturday in light rain at Village Park in Cumberland the senior women second division side United came from the lower mainland to challenge the Kickers women, and the senior men first division team Cowichan came to take on the Kickers men. In 2013 the Kickers have proudly elevated each senior team, the men taking a step up to Vancouver Island First Division, and the women a step out into a wider Second Division competition that includes teams from the lower mainland. Bold moves intended to raise the bar for rugby players and rugby fans in the Valley. That bar was set high by the visitors in a 4 hour display of rugby at its best. The Women kicked off at 11:30 and from the first whistle the intimidation from the Kickers forward pack, including some bullying runs from Sheryl Alexander, quickly forced United to adopt a wide ranging passing game, using phases of play to eventually outnumber the Kickers defense, a ploy that worked for United bringing an early try. The home team quickly answered with Molly Florian employing a deft sidestep and a quick weaving run to go in under the posts, converting her own try and maintaining a  competitive scoreline. An U18 BC rep last year, Florian has recently played for Crimson Tide and she posed an ever present danger during the game leading United to take care to deny Florian space whenever possible.  With steady pressure and a somewhat lopsided penalty count the score continued to widen for United, and despite excellent solid midfield tackles...
Beaufort Cup Rivalry Renewed

Beaufort Cup Rivalry Renewed

Written by: Mike Magee Photos by: Lena-marie Pawluk/Little Inspirations Photography Under sunny skies in Cumberland, the Comox Valley Kickers challenged Beaufort Cup rivals the Port Alberni Black Sheep in a 1st division match on Saturday. The home town Kickers would work hard to come out on top of a 43-7 victory, bringing their record to 1-1 this season in VIRU competition. Brothers Andrew and Steve Hextall of the Comox Valley Kickers started the day out playing side by side at Inside and Outside Center. Both players would score 2 tries a piece and were key contributors in their team’s victory. They would dominate the back field until just after the 40 minute mark. Coach Frank Blaucomb would move Andrew to the flanker position to finish off the game. The change in position would not affect the young Kickers captain as he would continue to lead by example and play his role to perfection. Rookie winger Brandon Krejci of the Kickers was sporting his snazzy new French hair cut,  and seemed to have found his step while evading defenders. Krejci would score a beautiful 50+ yard try down the sideline putting all his magical moves together in his first try playing 1st division rugby. The “kid with the mullet” would win man of the match for the Kickers after showing incredible confidence in his play. Konrad Nikkel, returning from playing representative rugby with the Crimson Tide, distributed the ball effectively with well executed passes. Sending the ball sideline to sideline would wear down defenders and open holes for the harder players to run through. Nikkel would score a try himself after...
Kickers Debut in 1st Divison

Kickers Debut in 1st Divison

Report by Mike Magee. Photo by Lena-Marie Pawluk. On Sunday in Saanich under blue skies, for the first time since 2007, the Comox Valley Kickers Sr. Men’s team played their first match back in the VIRU 1st Division. A rough fall schedule, full of cancellations and defaults by opponents, saw the eager to play Kickers take to the field to face the Velox Academy. It took a while after the opening whistle for the Comox boys to shake the rust and webs, in the process allowing the young Velox side to score first.  It was through an impressive attack engineered by Velox Flyhalf Chris Brussow and his brother, Outside Center Dirk Brussow. A simple yet effective reverse (with a little flair) saw the speedy outside center run the ball 70+ yards and go in for a 7-0 lead. The Kickers would answer back shortly thereafter via a flanker hidden in the backline. Blindside Flanker Vince Bennett would score between the posts and howl with excitement as he was back on the scoring sheet and put the Kickers up on the problematic score board. Back and forth play throughout the first half would also see Outside Center Andrew Hextall log one near the posts after another Velox try, to see the teams go into halftime with a score of 14-12 in favour of the host Valhallians. The spectators would starting pouring in advance of the main event. They would be treated to a competitive 2nd half. A slow start by the Kickers in the 2nd half would allow Velox to score off the opening kickoff, rendering coaches Frank Blaucomb and Aaron...