Hornets, Piggies play off

The Nanaimo Hornets host the Cowichan Piggies at May Richards Bennett Pioneer Park in the Div. 1 men’s Cowichan Cup semifinals.

Nanaimo Hornets player Michael Halaliku makes a catch during a match against the Cowichan Piggies earlier this season at May Richards Bennett Pioneer Park.

Nanaimo Hornets player Michael Halaliku makes a catch during a match against the Cowichan Piggies earlier this season at May Richards Bennett Pioneer Park.

Playoff rugby meets rivalry rugby this Saturday (April 20).

The Nanaimo Hornets host the Cowichan Piggies at May Richards Bennett Pioneer Park in the Div. 1 men’s Cowichan Cup semifinals.

The Hornets (8-4) go in as slight favourites against the Piggies (6-6) but will be wary of their opponents.

“Cowichan’s a really good team,” said Ryan Eathorne, one of the Nanaimo coaches. “To beat them we’re going to have to come ready and play for an entire 80 minutes. We’re not going to be able to afford to take any time off in the game.”

Focus can be a challenge in rivalry games, when players want to win so badly that sometimes emotion takes over.

“It can go that way,” said Eathorne. “But our last game against Cowichan, we stuck to the game plan and even made modifications during the game, which is difficult to do.”

The Piggies usually bring some supporters on the road, but the Hornets are anticipating good crowd support, too, at their home pitch.

“The more the merrier,” said the coach. “And hopefully we can give them a bit of a show.”

GAME ON … Saturday’s playoff game kicks off at 1 p.m. at Pioneer Park. Admission is free.