On Thursday, 23 June Cumberland Village Park played host to a once in a lifetime rugby experience for the Comox Valley Kickers RFC, as they ran onto the field in opposition to a touring side from Australia - the Outback Barbarians.
A well-sponsored but fairly new team, the BaaBaa’s (as the lads refer to themselves) followed a grueling first fresh-off-the-plane defeat against Capilano in Vancouver, with an introduction to island life the evening before the game, as some of the Kickers took the team tubing down the Puntledge and sampling some of the local tastes on offer. This clearly did not slow the touring team down as they gave the Kickers a taste of what rugby is like down under with a 64 - 5 defeat. As the team captain said later in the evening: “It’s great to see that the spirit of rugby is alive and kicking on Vancouver Island. Despite what the scoreboard says it was clearly evident that everyone was having a good time.”
The Kickers showed the visitors some more island-style hospitality after the game, when club member Shayne Stuchberry of Coastal Trek prepared meatpies and mash for the more than 60 hungry players, support crew, family members, and others. The Aussies certainly appreciated the gesture and lifelong friendship between the two rugby clubs was cemented during an exchange of gifts, and some more nefarious penalties for friendly infractions throughout the day.
The Kickers would like to extend their thanks to the Village of Cumberland, Shayne Stuchberry, the Outback Barbarians and their support crew, and everyone that came out to watch this historic game.