Eli Cummins brushes off a would-be tackler

An old rugby adage exhorts: “Get there the fastest with the mostest and good things will happen,” and the Comox Valley Kickers certainly did that on Saturday when they defeated the Powell River Otago, 43-10, in Pulp Town to earn a berth in next weekend’s Vancouver Island playoffs. Following a slow start, the visiting Kickers clicked into high gear proving themselves to be fitter, more committed and more aggressive at the breakdown, and in using their speedier and craftier backs to better effect than the home side. In the end the Kickers ran in seven tries and kicked four conversions in a 43-10 romp that leaves them in second-place with five wins and two losses in this Spring’s Vancouver Island competition.

The Kickers stood back in the early going allowing Powell River to use their heavy forwards to muscle their way over for the game’s first try with Mark Bradley touching down. Slowly the Kickers shrugged off the ferry voyage and began to play the kind of rugby they are capable of, cleaning out the rucks and mauls and providing quick ball for their fleet-footed backs. At fifteen minutes centre Brandon Huddleston fielded a deft chip kick by fellow centre Eli Cummins and romped into the in-goal unmolested. He converted his own try: 7-5. Speedster Ross McLean, playing fullback, claimed the next when his blistering pace took him past all tacklers. Huddleston converted: 14-5. Now the tries kept coming with Huddleston adding another, McLean his second and lock Shayne Stuchbery, who played his usual rugged game, claiming two more. Eli Cummins danced over for one of his own late in the second-half and Powell River scored a consolation try through Kevin Cote to leave the final score 43-10.

While this was a well-rounded, team display with everyone unselfishly contributing to the overall win, Tony Forth should be singled out for another solid performance winning line-out and enjoying some rampaging runs; #8 Andrew Hextall for consistently arriving first at the breakdown where he snaffled some fine turn-over ball and Jesse Ramsay, at hooker, who punched well above his weight in the heavy going against much bigger opponents.

Following the win and after a frothy beverage, the two teams combined their Over 30 year-olds players to engage in a less competitive game against the combined Under-30 year-olds players of both clubs — just for the love of the game. No score recorded but afterwards everyone repaired to the de-consecrated church across the street in Cranberry, which serves as the Otago R.F.C. clubhouse, for food and drinks further enhancing the wonderful camaraderie that exists between these two rugby clubs and proving once more, to those who participate in it, why rugby is “the greatest game in the world.”

The play-off picture is uncertain at time of writing. Please continue to watch this site for details.

The Annual Kickers Awards Banquet is slated for May 14 at the Fallen Alders Hall with legendary Canadian International prop forward Gary Dukelow as guest speaker.


The Kickers Rugby Club invites all those who are interested in playing rugby to attend training sessions on Tuesday and Thursday evenings at the club’s Fallen Alders facility on the Royston/Cumberland Road. Men and Women begin training at 6.30 p.m.

The Club gratefully acknowledges our sponsors: The Butcher’s Block, Central Rentals, Continual Palingenesis - Social Media Solutions, Investors Group, The Le Fevre Property Group, Mount Washington Alpine Resort, Wedler Engineering, Pilon Tools and Yummies & Gyros without whose support rugby would not continue to flourish in the Comox Valley.