Sunday, May 10, 2015

Division-1 Colorado State High School Rugby Championship: Denver East v Regis Jesuit

Denver East High Angels v Regis Jesuit
Cold with a spray of moisture in the wind now as field magistrate Erik Geib whistled the start and the Angels lofted the drop-kickoff to an ever-ready Jesuit XV, and it was game most decidedly on at Infinity Park on Saturday, the rugby day. Each side had rolled out impressive tallies in their respective semifinal wins - East four groundings for 28 in its win over PAC, and Regis half dozen trys and 38 in their victory over Grizzlies on Saturday last – but it was to be weather-related mishappenings that determined a dearth in the numbers, though as exciting a conclusion to a match, one is not likely to see often.
No points-scored in the first period though the competing sides forwards contested every breakdown bitterly and each of the well-schooled packs showed admirably in that critical phase of play. But the passing, on occasion, sloppy due the nature of the day and reaction more than proaction the scheme of things as effective as any pattern in the first half: 0-0 the significant figures at Mr. Geib’s halftime tweet.

Airborne assaults from the pivots were well-defended by fullback Augie Bennett for East and Isaac Vargas for Regis, with knock-on and errant pass being movement-stoppers as much as the tackle in a fractive initial thirty minutes of action. Much ball kept in hand and East tighthead, CJ Cade, performing yeomanlike with short gains and sure hands.

it requires multiple tacklers to take down East's big man, Cade   image: trotski

East disdained a shot on goal from in front of the sticks early in the second stanza and one was left to wonder whether that might bite them on the behind at the end of the day when the Angels subsequent action in the Regis business end produced naught but a knock-on; but a Jack Martin-Lindsley sticksplitter from the interior left hashmark 20 meters out shortly afterward meant 3-0 the lead for the Denver XV 10 minutes after restart.

The Angels extended their lead when second row Ryan Herberman booted on a jouncer at the Jesuit 22 meter line and covered the pill in goal for Martin-Lindsley’s conversion and 10-nil the scoreline for East in the 52nd minute.

Denver would see its margin halved two minutes from time when Jesuit backrow lock, Carter Alcock, stripped ball from an East player five meters from the Promised Land, and finished fast for a tightening of tallies at 10-5 yet to Angels, after 58 minutes of action.

And in one of the absolute most thrilling finishes in recent memory, injury time and Denver East High Angels courageously held their line against repetitive Regis batterings from multiple five-meter penalties awarded. Every eye riveted and breaths ragged in the frenzied final seconds as Jesuit tap-and-goes powered into goal only to be held aloft by the desperate Denver defense, and with a last shot judged lost forward at tackle, 10-5 the 2015 Colorado State D-1 Rugby record and East, yet again, would claim elite division supremacy, the state title and a well-earned victory on Saturday, this rugby day.

            Home – Try: Herberman; Con: Martin-Lindsley; Pen: Martin-Lindsley;
            Guest – Try: Alcock
Match Official(s): Erik Geib (Referee); Tom Coburn, Mark Huff (RAs)

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