The Gibsons Pigs not only lost their rugby game on Saturday - they lost the services of one of their star players in the process.
Gibsons opened up the second half of their season on the short-end of an 11-10 score to the UCC Barbarians from Kamloops. But the one-point loss was only half the story. Early in the second half, Pigs' player Martin Desrosiers broke through the Kamloops defense and was on his way into the end zone, when he was tackled high and pulled down awkwardly to the field. Desrosiers' right ankle twisted and he fell to the ground in a heap. Players rushed to his aid and an ambulance was called to assist him. After the game, Pigs' captain Chris Lumsden said Desrosiers ankle was likely fractured and he would be lost for the remainder of the year.
"We've been pretty fortunate injury wise, but this certainly hurts," Lumsden said. "Martin is a young player and he was really rounding into form for us. It's a huge loss."
The game was intense from start to finish as the Pigs tried to hand Kamloops (10-0) their first loss of the year.
Kamloops scored first about 25 minutes in, but Gibsons responded quickly with a try of their own to tie the score 5-5 at half time.
Kamloops took advantage of a Pigs' penalty early in the second half, scoring on a penalty kick to take an 8-5 lead.
Gibsons battled back again and looked to have punched in a score, but possession was lost and Kamloops was able to hold on.Kamloops upped its advantage to 11-5 on another penalty kick with about 25 minutes to play.
The game was then halted for about a half an hour as paramedics attended to Desrosiers. Both teams practiced and kept warm on their respective sides of the field during the delay.
Gibsons came out flying after the injury time-out and pushed across their second try of the match. The conversion kick failed and the Pigs trailed 11-10.
Gibsons had one last chance late in the game and were driving for a potential score, when the final whistle blew.
Gibsons had several chances to score during the game, including four scrums just yards from pay dirt, but penalties and miscues proved to be their undoing.
"We had some great individual efforts but really lacked our team game today," Lumsden said. "It's certainly disappointing. I blame myself for a few calls. We were deep in their territory a couple of times, and we should have probably kicked for some points. As captain, I take responsibility for that."
The Pigs will look to rebound today (Feb. 14) as they travel to Bellingham. Gibsons has next Saturday off then return to the pitch on Feb. 28, playing host to SFU.