VICTORIA, BC - The Velox Valhallians will look to add more silverware to their trophy cabinet this Saturday when they host Northern rivals Nanaimo Hornets in the Cowichan Cup Final. Top-seeded Velox (10-2) heads into the match having already lifted the Island Men's First Division Times Cup in March and will be looking to win Saturday's regional championship and earn a berth to the provincial semifinals on May 4th. Three Lower Mainland seeds and the Island representative will then compete for a provincial championship and earn promotion to BC's top tier, the Canadian Direct Insurance Premier League.
Vancouver Island First Division - Sat. April 27th:
ISLAND FINAL: Nanaimo Hornets at Velox Valhallians (Velox RFC) 1:15pm
Velox have lost just twice in the Cowichan Cup, a year long First Division tournament that saw them play Nanaimo (8-4), Cowichan (6-6), Port Alberni (4-8) and Velox Academy (2-10). The Valhallians fell 33-24 to Nanaimo on November 17th and their most recent defeat was a 15-5 road-loss against Cowichan. The club has fared well competing in different cup competitions and the players are still yet to hit their full stride, said head coach Aaron Frisby.
"We really enjoyed playing in more than one competition as we could set different goals during the season and it also gave us a chance to win some hardware before the end of the [year]," said Frisby as his side now turns their attention to the playoffs. "We were caught napping twice this season and were guilty of being over-confident, but on a positive note, they were well-timed wake up calls. We haven't put 80 complete minutes of rugby together this season. If we are able to do that, no one will touch us."
Velox's no.8 Ryan Waldriff has been the 'find of the season' according to Frisby, as the forward now leads the team in try-scoring. Cam Bell has set the pace at fly half and has paired well with scrum half Dale Grimston. Young Captain Phil Erb has also grown into his role Frisby added.
Nanaimo are renowned for their physical play and at 8-4 will be looking to pull off an upset. When asked what type of final to expect on Saturday, Frisby replied, "Smash mouth rugby. They have big, hard running forwards well directed from fly half."
Nanaimo won last week's playoff match against the no.3 seed Cowichan Piggies, downing their Island rivals 24-6. No.8 Nick Scott and full back Ryan Bradley provided their tries with a conversion and four penalties recorded by fly half Brad Marshall.
Saturday's kick off is scheduled for 1:15pm at Velox's rugby pitch in Saanich. Velox's Third Division side will also be competing for an Island title on Sunday, when they travel to Cowichan Rugby Club for a 1:00pm kick off against the Comox Valley Kickers.