Sunday, March 29, 2015

Morning Joe

Boulder Rugby v Denver Barbarians
                                                                      Kilfoyle for Boulder                                      image: Bob Lyon

Warm and dehydrating with a steady and vagrant Chinook blowing across PleasantView Rugby Grounds, one of the finest pitches in the state, and a dandy of a day for the rugby. Charter Colorado rugby union clubs, Boulder and Barbarians have been after the pill for near half century; every meeting eagerly anticipated, well-contested and historically delightful; yesterday’s matchup no difference with a pair of second stanza lead changes making for as entertaining a match at grade as you’d like and a happy home result in the bargain.
Denver were on the heavy front foot in the first twenty minutes of play, spending a great deal of time and effort in their host end with four forays into the Boulder 22 yielding a maddening naught; miscues in the three-quarterline and the knock-on being the agent of possession exchange for Denver’s Men in Green.
The skippy and improvident wind meant that it would be a ball-in-hand, close-pass type day, for lofts behaved in a most unlikely manner and lengthy slings found no hands.
Boulder got aboard on their first junket into the Barbarians half of the field: fullback Odelle Hyman (former G.O.A.T.S. standout) countered a querulous kick with a scintillating return into the Barbos 22 before offloading to recently-minted flyhalf Sean Kilfoyle (Denver East High Angels RC, University of Colorado Buffalos) for his fast finish and own conversion: Homeside up 7-0 with 25 minutes gone.
Barbarians flyhalf, Charles Ajarrista (Bordeaux, France), got his side’s first points with a sticksplitter struck from 25 meters out on the left post and 7-3 for Boulder Rugby just now in the 31st minute.
Plenty of play between the 22s for the remainder of the half until Boulder’s second incursion into the Barbos 22 saw half-dozen pick-and-goes contained by Denver’s defense. A poochy little grubber into goal was just covered by the Barbarians and field magistrate Brighton Khumalo signaled the halftime break with 7 and 3 the importants for the hosts.
Both sides gifted their opponents set piece possessions: Barbarians 2-and-2, while Boulder lost 2 puts and 3 of their own lineout tosses; along with the many handling errors the first forty was, at times, the stuff of coaches’ nightmares.
Barbarians began the last half brightly with Boulder on its rear leg and Ajarrista directing a progressive Denver attack featuring tight bangers out the loose and first channel crashing from sizable center, John Godinet. It was the inside center who’d realize Barbos joy after a break by their backrow, his handoff to the #12, and the big man’s crash over for his grounding converted by Ajarrista: 10-7 for the travelers first advantage at minute number 45.
A yellow card issued a guest for conduct unbecoming saw Barbos down one and Boulder eager to capitalize. And use the advantage well they did with forward bashes setting up Kilfoyle’s well-directed slings out along the three-quartersline into the Barbarians 22 and on to their business district, 8 meters out from goal; and 8man pickup from the loose as Boulder backrow lock, Joe Sawicki, snatched ball and lit around the farside of the breakdown, looping towards the posts before touching down the fiver and Boulder back in front, 15-12 after 58 ticks off Khumalo’s timepiece.
Increase in intensity and a correspondent improvement in ball handling made for and exciting final twenty minutes, and it would be Boulder to seal the victory late as replacement back, Max Gulden, crossed for a grounding – with Kilfoyle’s added deuce, 22-10 to Boulder in the 78th minute and that became the record at Khumalo’s final tweet.

            Boulder – Try Kilfoyle, Sawicki, Gulden:; Con: Kilfoyle (2); Pen: Kilfoyle;
            Barbarians – Try: Godinet; Con: Ajarrista; Pen: Ajarrista
Match Official: Brighton Khumalo

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