Saturday, November 19, 2016

Live Autumn Tests: Saturday, November 19

11/19, 9:00 AM EST South Africa vs. Italy (International Rugby) ESPN3

11/19, 9:30 AM EST Japan vs. Wales (International Rugby) ESPN3

11/19, 12:00 PM EST Argentina vs. Scotland (International Rugby) ESPN3

11/19, 12:30 PM EST New Zealand vs. Ireland (International Rugby)
Streaming Live l(or on replay) at, select "watch" on the black menu bar at the top of the page

Sunday, November 13, 2016

WPL Championship: Surfs Up!

San Diego Surfers ran out to a 19-8 halftime advantage behind a powerful offense that featured explosive blasts from inside center Jordan Gray and front rowers, Sam Pankey and Hope Rogers. Glendale countered midway through the second stanza with a penalty by flyhalf, Hannah Stolba, and a grounding by hooker Gina Beard that drew the Colorado side to within three points at 16-19 in the 66th minute, but a try by San Diego at time clinched the title for the Southern Californians.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Women's Premier League Championship: Glendale goes for three running

Glendale Women's RFC will seek its third national title on Sunday after topping previously unbeaten New York Women's RFC, 37-13, on campus at Life University Rugby Complex in Marietta Georgia today. Glendale will square off against Blue Conference rival, San Diego Surfers, on Sunday for all the marbles. The championship match can be viewed live at 1pm (MST) on The Surfers and Glendale finished 1-2 in their bracket, splitting their pair of matches with each triumphant on their homeground.

In the first semifinal, one dozen points from the talented toe of flyhalf Hannah Stolba on two penalties and three conversions, in addition to a handful of groundings by: Joanna Kitlinski, Colleen Cribbs, Jenny Lui, Carmen Farmer and Andrea Prusinski  made for Glendale's tally, while the New Yorkers got theirs on a penalty by Ayden Bain and trys by: Evelyn Ashenbrucker and Kristen Siano.

San Diego punched their ticket to the Grand Final by knocking out Twin Cities Amazons, 36-8, in the second semifinal.

The two teams bookended their respective seasons contesting the pill with Glendale winning the season opener at home in dramatic, near-time fashion and Surfers taking the return engagement in the final round of play handily, 45-15, in San Diego. The penultimate fixture on Sunday afternoon is bound to be a fast and physical affair with the Californians' roster boasting the likes of Tia Blythe and USA 7s dynamo Dana Meschisi as well as USA Rugby Olympic Training Center full-time residents Hope Rogers, Molly Kinsella and Samantha Pankey. The championship match promises to be one for the ages, and with the live feed online at the Rugby Channel, one a canny sort might surely enjoy.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

MCD-1A: University of Colorado v University of Wyoming

University of Colorado Buffalos v University of Wyoming Cowboys
With a bit of overcast on top of a blowy westwind, CU and Wyoming got after the pill at campus in Boulder on an unseasonably warm RugbyDay.  Two of the top squads in the USA Rugby men’s college division-1A bracket provided a grand display of sport adjudicated by one of the finest referee crews in the land: the trio of Derek Summers, Paul Knowles and Brian Zapp.
Zapp, Summers and Knowles - a class act!

Knock-on at kickoff reception by the travelers gave the home team initial advantage with scrum-put inside the Cowboys ten-meter line. Buffalos brash and bold with multiple phases of tightly orchestrated pick-and-goes from breakdown into the near channels, crabbing play across the pitch until penalty assessed by Summers afforded CU an opportunity for a shot at the sticks, 32 meters out on center. Not a worry for halfback, Evan Clark, and 3-nil homeboys in the 4th minute.

Miller looking forward
CU back into Wyoming territory after re-start utilizing speed and precision of forwards at tackle to maintain possession and forward momentum. Openside flanker, Jack Miller, shed tacklers spearheading a Buffalos foray into the visitor 22. Penalty award and two banging phases forward before Miller’s backrow mate, blindside Zachary Niro, shot through the defense to touch down: score 8-0 after 9 minutes.

Buffs benefiting from the great industry of their forwards at breakdown, turning ball over seemingly at will and keeping their opponents on the unstable rear leg early goings.

The host were threatening and had the feed at the set, 15 meters out from the Wyoming goaline approaching midpoint in the first forty. A big, bossy effort from the Cowboys pack won the tighthead and visitors flyhalf, Connor Rezzonico, cleared lines.  

A Wyo lineout at their own 10-meter line was batted back and ran to the Cowboys 22 before CU laid claim to the jouncer, enabling several phases forward before engine roomee Zachary Fellows crashed into goal for his try that, along with Clark’s conversion, extended the margin to 15 after 27 minutes of action.

Clark earned three more points on a sticksplitter from 25 meters out, 18-nil at ’31.
Cowboys got aboard on a penalty struck truly by second row Ryley McConn and it was 18-3 nearing time in the half.

But the Buffs would have the final shout as Clark’s sharp cycle to onrushing loosehead prop, Blake Rogers, had the #1 on a fast cutter to goal for a grounding that brought the tallies to 22 and 3 at Summers’ midway signal; lads for hydration and instruction just then.

University of Colorado with territory and possession advantage from its ability to obtain then maintain ball, while University of Wyoming often own-worst with unforced errors murdering promising movements.

Cowboys out of the second stanza blocks with fire and fury as second row, Cody Wichman, broke to space at his own 22 and raced for 50 in an arcing, elusive junket that brought play into CU’s red zone at the 22 and down into their business district, scant meters from goal. Buffs were pinged for grievous infraction resulting in a penalty try award: 22-10 after Wichman’s blinder at minute 46 and conversion by Rezzonico.

The home XV spent considerable time on either side of the hour mark asking questions of the Cowboys defense closeby goal, but Wyo’s containment proved sufficient to the task. Counters by Cowboys backline in the form of slashing returns of fullback Dominic Rufrun and powerful blasts by replacement center, William Tutien.

Wyoming saw success when outside center Harry Bourke backed himself, rounding a corner inside his own 10-meter line and turning on the nitrous, accelerating to space to finish 65 meters quickly and it became a closer encounter just then with a scoreline of 22-17 in the 69th minute with Rezzonico adding the deuce.

CU’s rapid response had flyer Liam Turner ground within the minute and 27-17 at ’70.
Wichman picked up his brace at the 75th minute with touch down in the corner, and though the remaining five minutes were action-packed, no further scores and a five-point victory at 27-22 for University of Colorado was recorded at Summers final whistle

                Colorado – Try: Niro, Fellows, Rogers, Turner; Con: Clark (2); Pen: Clark;
                Wyoming – Try: PT, Bourke (2); Con: Rezzonico (2); Pen: McConn

Match Officials: Derek Summers (Referee); Paul Knowles, Brian Zapp (RAs)

Sunday, October 16, 2016

MD-3: Denver Highlanders v Glendale Raptors 3

Denver Highlanders v Glendale Raptors 3

Cagey veteran, Josh Slater (ball-in-hand), locked down the Highlanders back row, and was in the thick of the action all day long

Gross' sure spread
Highlanders were consummate in defense of their homeground, The Jake, on the RugbyDay. With New Zealand native and points-producer Adam Price out due shoulder injury sustained during last week’s win over Queen City Rams, Highlanders maintained their frenetic scoring pace;
Kyle Gross, traded his 15 shirt for Price’s 10, and the versatile three-quarters - who hails from Rangeley - orchestrated a comprehensive, 85-10 win for the league leaders.

Women's Premier League: Glendale Raptors v Berkeley All Blues

Glendale Raptors v Berkeley All Blues
Glendale's halfback combination sparkled

Warm and breezy with temperatures in the low 80s at kickoff of the Blue Conference derby between league-leading Raptors and the All Blues. Glendale looked to remain undefeated and in front of the hot San Diego Surfers, while the Bay Area club sought their initial result of the season.

A quartet of groundings on: a fine closing by fullback Colleen Cribbs; a slick Hannah Stolba-feed to outside center Christen Suda for the 5/8ths cross-and-ground; a second by Suda on a well-sold dummy and 50-meter scoot; and a fiver by tighthead prop, Melissa Polheber - the last converted by 
Stolba earning a 22-0 lead and the bonus-point in the opening quarter.

Berkeley struck back with fast close-order communication along the western touchline made for flyer Serena Liu’s weaving race to goal for the try that brought the scores to 22-5 in the 26th minute.

Glendale were firing on all cylinders, working the pill from breakdown with consistency, then the lightning offload and space for much front-foot luxury. Raptors would see a trio of groundings to close out the half at 41-5 on trys by: spry tighthead, Sarah Chobot; a dot by flyer Denali Graham; and a Stolba inverse feed to oncoming blindside, Carmen Farmer, and the six’ subsequent grounding - with Stolba good on two from three conversions.

All scores for Glendale in the second stanza as Raptors precision of transfer in traffic, continuity of forward momentum, daunting three-quartersline, and the savvy distribution choices by the Raptors pivot had the All Blues on the rear foot for much of that final forty minutes of play. A record of 77-5 to Glendale at time.

                Glendale – Try: Cribbs (2), Suda (2), Chobot, Polheber (2), Stolba, Graham, Farmer,                                               Brennan, Wypych, Shalosky; Con: Stolba (6);
                Berkeley – Try: Liu

Match Officials: Emily Hsieh (Referee); Derek Summers, Victor Bellavia (RAs)

Next up for Glendale, the all-important return engagement with San Diego Surfers in Southern California. Raptors had a famous comeback for two-point victory in September. Winner of the match on Saturday, October 29, will more than likely claim topspot in the division heading to playoffs. 

MD-2: Boulder v Harlequins

Denver Harlequins v Boulder Rugby

Boulder began its league title defense in somewhat unsatisfactory manner with only a single win in their initial four outings, though they’d a draw to go along with two losses; Harlequins, a side loaded with talent - from their staunch and skilled number one, Chris Bailey, out to fiery and explosive Paul Bordenkircher on the wing, were yet in search of their first victory of the season. With temperatures pushing 80 degrees and warming, field magistrate Derek Summers whistled up kickoff and it was on at Cook Park then.

Probing kicks and pick-and-goes well-defended in the early goings by each until loosehead Bailey made a barge into the Boulder line into the 22 and offloaded perfectly to supportive second row, Ben 
Prentner, and that man closed quickly: 7-nil homeboys in the 13th minute after conversion by Quin fullback, Kyle Visagie.

Denver committed offense sufficient to earn a yellow card at ’17, and Boulder worked the one-man advantage well, alternating short darts from by backrow lock, Paul Rohr, lengthy skip-slings to outside backline dangermen, second center Odell Hyman, and flyer, Ralo Wheeler. Boulder were into the host 22 when penalty award enabled flyhalf Colin Johnson to strike cleanly a three-pointed sticksplitter and visitors were on the board, at 7-3, favoring Harlequins at minute 21.

Back at full strength, the home team brought it hard on the Boulder line with Bailey storming into the 22, battering his way to fall beneath a bevy of stoppers one meter from goal. Quins got to the breakdown with intent, but a frantic Boulder defense turned ball over and the travelers were able to clear their lines in the 30th minute.

Boulder regained the lead on a splendid individual effort by Hyman that saw him crash to space and round the defense to ground for an 8-7 scoreline with halftime looming.

Not before the homeside had the final shout of the first forty: Harlequins inside center Isaac Archibeque, on a cutter to goal, made it deep into the Boulder business district before offloading to flying finisher, Hector Cevilla, whose try and Visagie’s additional deuce, made tallies of 14 and 8 for Harlequins after 40.

Better transfer of the pill in close quarters and determination at breakdown made for significant go-forward pressure by the home team; wrong side of the Sir’s penalty count for Boulder and some lazy, loopy passes to no one in particular meant for exasperating endings of promising moves.

Lively opening to the second stanza with each side attempting to establish its pattern, yet the defenses along with damning unforced handling errors, served to maintain the scoreline.

Boulder with the concerted, multi-phase effort into the Quins 22. Swift recycle from scrumhalf Sean Kilfoyle and the defense was spread for replacement openside Eliot Kairys’ clean and rapid, 20-meter straight gallop to goal for the grounding that reversed the lead once more after the plus two by Johnson: 15-14 Boulder at ’56.

Quins were hard and fast into the Boulder 22 in the 64th minute being undone by a mishandle in traffic that reversed possession and enabling the visitors clearance.
Boulder extended their advantage on a try by Bryan Maroney and Johnson’s subsequent completion, and the visitors had a bit of breathing space at the 70th minute, 22-14. Boulder up by two scores just now.

Harlequins made it a one-point margin yet again on a blinder of an effort by openside Jason Burbach that finished a lengthy period of Denver attack inside Boulder’s 10-meter line; after conversion by Visagie: 22-21 with a handful of 60-second segments left.

It was Boulder with the counting response two minutes on when Hyman smashed to space and finished 40 meters powerfully for the bonus point and Johnson’s deuce made a result of 29-21 after Kilfoyle’s kick to touch from the wonscrum and Summers’ last blast.

                Denver Harlequins – Try: Prentner, Cevilla, Burbach; Con: Visagie (3);
                Boulder Rugby - Try: Hyman (2), Kairys, Maroney; Con: Johnson (3); Pen: Johnson
Match Official: Derek Summers