Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Mountain Roundup

Mountain Rugby Roundup: 7.9.19

Gentlemen of Aspen RFC top the table after blockbuster, 46-43, last-second victory over Vail RFC at Rio Grande on the Saturday. Steamboat Springs  leapt idle Echo Mountain into second place on the chart with a 49-15, bonus-point win over Gentlemen of the Blue Goose at Kingdom Park on the day.

The XVs roll unto the Yampa River Valley and Steamboat Springs on the upcomer for the 45th  Annual Cowpie Rugby Tournament where they will be competing for the coveted pile of pooh that is the glass-encased, though not 100% sealed, award. Vail RFC, whose offense rocked on the weekend, seeks to shore up their “D” and triumph for the second year running with back-to-back “Pies.”

Refugee R-F-C

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Gentlemen of Aspen RFC v Vail RFC

A fine day for Footy

Aspen v Vail 

The Aspen versus Vail match is always an epic clash filled with canny machinations of halfbacks, the subtle subterfuge of midfield misdirections, and the strength and stamina of forwards packs is ever tested. Yesterday’s match was no different as 14 trys touched-down evenly and each XV’s completion rate level made for drawn scores before a last second penalty strike made the difference at Rio Grande Park.

Early handling errors led to opportunity for both sides. Vail were able exploit creases in their hosts defensive alignment for a brace of scores, one converted, and 12-nil in the 9th minute.

Aspen returned a trio of scores, two converted, and 19-12 for the home team by the 33rd minute, Aspen capitalizing on a pair of overlaps and mauling a drop-down try into goal.

Aspen lineout take

With Aspen on attack inside Vail’s ten-meter line, a floating communication out wide was intercepted by Vail’s wing and, with Aspen’s threequarters drawn forth on offense, an 80-meter race was on and that fluyer outpaced the chase for five and new leader in Vail, 24-19, at the Sir’s halftime signal.

this will be touched down for 5 by 15

Vail forwards looked big and bossy in both sets and loose, while Aspen runners were proving adept at tackle slippage.

Travelers lengthened their lead at the restart when an interception was returned yet again for touch down completed by Vail’s standoff and 31-19 for Vail in the 41st.

Aspen drew within a handful on a converted score at ’46, 31-26, but Vail’s reply in the 54th made it a 10-point margin, 36-26.

Aspen try

A Gentlemen’s try at the hour mark reduced the gap to three points, 36-33.

With final-20 fatigue flagging the action a bit, Vail’s 1st five-eighths stepped inside an arm tackle and grounded center-post for the near-automatic conversion, making tallies of 43 and 33 in favor of the visitors by the 68th minute.


A yellow ticket issued for unlawful action reduced Vail’s complement to 14 and Aspen exploited that advantage for a brace of scores, drawing level at 43s before a penalty award just outside Vail’s 10-meter line enabled the Aspen numbers man’s determining three-pointer and 46-43 for homeboys the final.

Cowpie is next Weekend!


Saturday, July 6, 2019

Super Rugby Championship - Quick Hit

Crusaders for Three Trophies running
Jaguares earned an early 3-nil advantage through a penalty struck by flyhalf, Joaquin Diaz Bonilla from 30 meters outside the right stick in the 16th minute before Crusaders 9, Bryn Hall, hoisted a high hanger from breakdown at midfield and, though covered by a defender 30 meters out from Jaguares goal, a four-step forward maul fell down and 8man, Kieran Read, scooped the pill to captain Sam Whitelock on the weak side who galloped off on a streak for goal; right before being taken out by the desperate visitor cover, shifted the pill inside to support, number 2 Codie Taylor, who, though tackled short of the paint, had the impetus to carry across and touch down for the extras by flyhalf, Richie Mo’unga, and Crusaders went ahead, 7-3 at minute 27. Jaguares fast down and into Crusaders business district with the goaline reachable in the 37th, but a try-saver by homeside’s fullback, David Havili, in combination with a Bryn Hall strip prevented flyer Matias Moroni’s grounding. A Mo’unga penalty struck at time in the half made the tallies 10 and 3 at referee Jaco Peyper’s midpoint signal.
Mo’unga potted three more penalties in the second stanza against naught for Jaguares and the record, 19-3, but there were several times that fortune simply turned its fickle face from Jaguares and trys went begging.

Friday, July 5, 2019

Super Rugby Championship Final: Preview

Crusaders v Jaguares
Tomorrow’s Super Rugby Championship Fixture, pitting a well-seasoned, All Blacks-laden XV from Christchurch, against a well-seasoned, Pumas-packed XV from Buenos Aires is a fitting finale for the 2019 global professional season and an eagerly awaited contest. The AMI, aka Orangetheory Stadium, in Christchurch will be abso rocking the rugby as the top clubsides in the Southern Hemisphere get after the pill for super glory.
Crusaders have been winning super championships since some of the current Jaguares squad were taking first steps, though the players on the early Crusaders championship rosters are to be found supporting from the stands rather than getting going on the paddock. Still, tomorrow’s homeside has established an admirable record of nine Super Rugby titles thus far and Richie Mo’unga and company intend to put that number into double digits.
Jaguares have only ever played their hosts twice, losing both. Third time charm? In order to do the necessary the travelers must match both the intensity and the intelligence of the home team’s forwards; physical containment of the pill when in possession will be crucial as the lengthy tactical hoist and high hanger will only give the Sevu Reece-David Havili-George Bridge backthree opportunity to counter and that trio will relish engagement. Expect much pick-and-go interspersed with charges in the near channels. The Tomas Cubelli-Joaquin Diaz Bonilla, 9-10 tandem have been honing their RWC form in fine fashion and, should that twosome orchestrate and implement a tidy possession-oriented pattern, that strategy will set the stage for super success.
The battle in the midfield between the pairing of visitors captain, Geronimo De La Fuente and Matias Orlando at first and second five eighths reps., versus Jack Goodhue and Braydon Ennor will be telling.
And both sides must mind their manners to keep 2019 RWC-bound field magistrate Jaco Peyper’s whistle silent and the South African official’s cards in his pocket for each club has estimable points producing standoffs: home 10, Richie Mo’unga, will certainly crucify and pacify opponents with gusto and from great distance, while Joaquin Diaz Bonilla can perform the plus-2 or -3 sticksplitting with accuracy as well.
It’s raining lightly in Christchurch now and there’s a chance of showers through the morning hours, but it is forecast to be middle-40s and clear for the game; still moisture may have a slickening and slippening effect on the pill, so paddies must be prepared for that condition.

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Park City Haggis Independence Day 10s

A big thank you to our sponsor Zurixx for helping us host and to the Utah Warriors for supplying match game balls!

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Summer Mountain Rugby on the Weekend: Real Fireworks!

2019 Summer Mountain Rugby 

Gentlemen of Aspen v Vail RFC: PreWRap

The Mountain XVs of Aspen and Vail have been working the pill for better than half century on the pitches in their respective aeries. The record of the results entered the forgiving mists of ages, but to be sure, each and every fixture has been contested 80-minutes plus at the highest level allowable under rugby law, union code. Saturday’s match at Rio Grande Park will be no different. The sides regularly turn out quality players: from European and South Hemisphere stars on walkabout, to elements of the elite North American college crowd, to a well-grounded base of local talent, these sides are representative of a grade of play that is expressed with clinical precision and is a grand example of our game.

Vail, with two games in the bucket, showed well against a Colorado Springs Grizzlies summer side, “and then got a shellacking against the World Rugby North u22 team,” reports  Vail RFC spokesman, Chris Chantler, “so we have had a run, but no cohesive patterns of play yet.”

Aspen have yet to lose this season and the Gentlemen, no doubt, eagerly await their Rocky Mountain rivals for this, the match upon which a club’s season might very well turn....

Breck v 'Boat

On the Highest Rugby Pitch (continuous play) in America, Gentlemen of the Blue Goose RFC will host Steamboat Springs RFC, at Kingdom Park in Summit County - kicks at 1pm, Saturday.

Thus far in the 2019 Mountain League it’s an Aspen table with the Gentlemen counting four victories against no losses:

* indicates non-league results
- standings compiled from data provided by your Rocky Mountain Rugby Referees Society

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Super Rugby Semifinals: By the Numbers

Super Rugby Semifinals Wrap - By the Numbers

It’ll be New Zealand Conference #1 versus South African Conference #1 for the super trophy next weekend at the AMI in Christchurch after a brace of semis as different as the XVs that won them. First a blasting in Buenos Aires followed by a nail-biter on New Zealand's South Island.

14           for Jaguares 10, Joaquín Diaz Bonilla, on 4-and-2 from his shoe and 5-try SAC champs blew their guests out of Estadio José Amalfitani in Argentina, 39-7,  to reserve their berth in the finals next Saturday; formidable forwards play provided for a quartet of three-quartersline trys as former Brumbies halfback, Tomas Cubelli, got the rout going early with a grounding in the 4th minute made 7 by Diaz Bonilla; home XV continued counting with a pair of sticksplitters by DB and a try for engine, Tomás Lavanini, again the Jaguares flyhalf with the +2 and 20-nil for homeboys after 20 minutes; Brumbies got onboard at the death of the half on a grounding by number 2 stallion, Folau Fainga’a, and 20-7 with the halftime whistle;
               more of the same for Jaguares in the second stanza while none of the same for their guests; home 13, Matías Orlando dotted a pair with the Cats 10 slotting the extras and 15, Emiliano Bofelli, closed things out with a try in the 78th for the win;

            groundings by visitors against 3 for the home team frequently means away victory, unless indiscipline by travelers enables their hosts 10 to perform with precision the production of points through the posts and Crusaders, first in the conference and first in the league, held off Hurricanes, second on the overall points table, in Christchurch, 30-26; homeside had 13 onboard through a 13th minute grounding by flyer, Sevu Reece, its conversion by Mo’unga, and a pair of  sticksplitters by the standoff before ‘Canes grounded a try through 12, Ngani Laumape, at halftime; completion by Hurricanes 10 and presumptive AB flyhalf, Beauden Barrett, and 13-7 the midpoint score;
               travelers blasted out the blocks with a 41st minute grounding by flyer, Ben Lam, drawing within 1 point at 12-13, but that was as close as they’d get, though they'd get there twice more, as Crusaders replied with a Mo’unga dot and his own conversion at ’44 to make the significant figures 20-12, an 8-point or 2-score advantage; Hurricanes returned with Laumape’s second at ’51 to make the scores 20-19, but Reece would get his brace near the hour mark with Mo’unga’s +2 making tallies of 27 and 19 at ’60, once again 8-points differential; ‘Canes struck back immediately on a 5-pointer by 9,  TJ Perenara... Barret’s +2 making it yet again a 1-point game in the 61st minute, but a Mo’unga sticksplitter near time made for the record; Mo’unga has thrown his hand way high in the sky towards the All Blacks 10 shirt with 20 points on account of a this triple: 3-and-3 off the tee and a 44th minute grounding.

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Super Rugby Semis... YAY, plus Summer Mountain 15s

Super Rugby Semifinals: Continent v Continent and North v South Islands
Buenos Aires, Argentina
For the first time in four years and only the third time overall since 1996, South Africa have no contestant in the Best Four of Super Rugby, but their conference, the SAC, has a prodigious performer in first-time semifinalist Jaguares. The South American franchise scorched the Super Rugby landscape finishing regular season play on a five-match winning streak. As a matter of fact the only club that’s doing better at this moment is their opponent on the weekend, the Mob from Australia, who concluded their 2019 campaign on six happies before knocking six shades of... stuffing outta Sharks last weekend at the GIO in Canberra. But Brumbies last loss came at the clawed paws of the Argentines and as it happened, at the den of the Jaguares, Estadio José Amalfitani, in the South American capital where the semifinal will be either a repeat of Sleek and Quick Cats 20-15 April joy, or a spot of revenge for the Australians. Many of the fellows onfield tonight will don their nation’s jersey at 2019 RWC later this year and some will be looking to make a favorable impression towards that end.

The Tomas Cubelli-to-Joaquin Diaz Bonilla, 9-10 pipeline will be key to the Cats success this day as they’ve a massive attack array from numbers 11-through-15 and that swift theater requires the pill to operate; the Mob backrow forwards must disrupt their hosts distribution out wide and also contain the marauding Jaguares forwards in order to find a happy ending in South America after 80 minutes Friday. If the Australian pack can secure working ball and their basic game plan of hoist-and-harry serves them well this could be joy for the travelers, but that bliss will be hard fought-and-won. 
Ageless hooker, Augustin Creevy, is yet in the pack for the homeside, but Brumbies number 2, Folau Fainga’a, may be the wild card in this deck. There will have been, or also maybe will be, rain in the air to slippen the pig and slicken the paddock with temperatures in the upper 50s, which will serve both sets of forwards.

Christchurch, New Zealand
In the New Zealand derby, which may go a long way in determining who’ll get the number 10 shirt for the run-ups to 2019 RWC, and actually quite a number of AB jerseys will be on offer to claim one should think, as the top XVs in the Land of the Long White Cloud compete for national club supremacy as well as for the right to challenge Friday’s winner for the 2019 Super Rugby trophy. Only surety regarding the outcome of this one is that the prevailing side will have a member of a wee Taranaki brood called, “Barrett” on its roster.

The efficacy of the numbers 8-10 links: Kieran Read-Bryn Hall-Richie Mo’unga v Gareth Evans-TJ Perenara-Beauden Barrett will be telling, but this one could turn on the countering capabilities of the back-three backs: David Havili-Sevu Reece-George Bridge for homeboys and Jordie Barrett-Sal Rayasi-Ben Lam for the North Islanders. Skirmishes in the midfield between Ryan Crotty and Ngani Laumape in the first five-eighths will rock the AMI, also. Clear skies, mid-to-low 40s and neither rain nor wind sets stage for what promises to be an epic Kiwi contest.

Summer Mountain 15s, the only 15-a-side league of its kind this time of year has one match scheduled: 

Gentlemen of Aspen v Gentlemen of the Blue Goose

Could be the opportunity for walk-on glory should one find themselves in Pitkin County on the day and be of a mind...