Hornets roast Piggies in rivalry match

The Nanaimo RFC’s men’s firsts defeated the Piggies 27-12 in Cowichan Cup league play Saturday at May Richards Bennett Pioneer Park.

Nanaimo Hornets player Steve Young is tackled by Cowichan Piggies opponent Andrew McPherson during Saturday’s match at Pioneer Park.

Nanaimo Hornets player Steve Young is tackled by Cowichan Piggies opponent Andrew McPherson during Saturday’s match at Pioneer Park.

It’s satisfying anytime the Nanaimo Hornets can beat the Cowichan Piggies, but all the more so when there’s something on the line.

The Nanaimo RFC’s men’s firsts defeated the Piggies 27-12 in Cowichan Cup league play Saturday at May Richards Bennett Pioneer Park to hold off the visitors in the standings.

Cowichan took the lead midway through the first half but Nanaimo immediately replied and took control.

Nick Scott, a player-coach on the Hornets, said his team was throwing the ball around and taking chances.

“That’s sort of the style of rugby we’ve been trying to play. I think it’s starting to come together,” he said. “Those opportunities started to pop up for us a little more and the chances that we took paid off.”

Zach Fitch, Mallory Roe and Scott scored Nanaimo’s tries and Brad Marshall kicked four penalties.

Nanaimo (6-4) and Cowichan (5-5) entered the match with identical won-loss records, but now with two regular-season games remaining, the Hornets have the upper hand in pinning down second place and getting a home playoff date.

“It’s huge for our team right now as we’re coming to the end of our season,” said Ryan Eathorne, Hornets coach.

He said any win over the rival Piggies feels like a big one. Scott compared it to a sibling rivalry.

“Nobody wants to give each other the upper hand,” he said.

GAME ON … Nanaimo’s firsts have a bye this coming weekend, then host last-placed Velox Academy (2-8) on April 6 at 1 p.m. at May Richards Bennett Pioneer Park … The Hornets women’s team lost to first-placed Abbotsford in the Fraser Valley on Saturday.

sports@nanaimobulletin.com