Cumberland Village Park became the battleground for an intense clash between two Vancouver Island teams this past weekend, as the Comox Valley Kickers and Castaway Wanderers (“CW”) from Victoria went head-to-head in a highly contested match that culminated in an unexpected and nail-biting tie, 26-26. Tries were scored by Trent Johnson, Brandon Hudson, Devon Moore, and Derek McCubbin with JB Nikkel adding 3 converts.
Excitement filled the air as spectators filled the sidelines. This marked the teams’ second encounter this season, with the Kickers securing the win during their previous clash.
From the opening whistle, it was evident that CW was looking for redemption. CW put pressure on the Kickers with a flurry of calculated attacks and strategic kicking placements and was able to score two quick tries within the first 15 minutes of the game.
After mainly being on defense for the beginning of the game, the Kickers finally found their rhythm and settled into the game. They regrouped with a renewed sense of determination and their passes grew crisper, their communication improved, and they exploited gaps with strong runs. The initial setback seemed to fuel their drive, propelling the Kickers to mount a formidable comeback and bringing the score within 2 points at halftime.
In the second half, both teams emerged from the break with renewed intensity, matching each other blow for blow, neither side not wanting to relent an inch. Cheers and gasps echoed throughout the sidelines with every bone-crunching tackle, lightning-fast breakaway, and strategic set pieces. As the match progressed, each score was quickly answered by the opposing side. With time running out and the scoreboard remaining tied, the intensity soared to a fever pitch with both teams trying to gain an advantage. With both teams unwilling to yield, the referee’s whistle signaled the end of regulation time, resulting in a rare and thrilling draw.
Coach Dan Mills remarked, “It was a hard-fought battle and such a closely contested match, you know that the players left everything on the field today.”
Despite the deadlock on the scoreboard, the mutual respect and competitive spirit between both teams remained evident as they exchanged handshakes and took a big group photo at the match’s conclusion.
This game marked the end of the fall season for the Comox Valley Kickers Men’s team. Entering the winter break, please visit www.comoxvalleyrugby.ca for upcoming practices and socials. The spring season starts on January 20 at home vs. Port Alberni Black Sheep.