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Sunday, May 3, 2015

Rugby Colorado Semifinal #2: East v PAC

Denver East High Angels v PAC Rugby
East flyhalf, Adam Leonard, Angels power on the burst   image: Curtis Fletcher

A sea of red on tap for next week’s Rugby Colorado Premier Division State Championship match after Denver East High Angels defeated an impressive PAC Rugby side at Aurora Sports Park yesterday, 28-15. It was warming with a bit of overcast as the Angels were led onto the field by their bagpiper sounding “The Minstrel Boy”, a Gaelic tune of remembrance and one guaranteed to stir the blood.
The match got off to a bang-zoom start as PAC collected the pill at kickoff and stormed into Angels territory with incisive forwards work, their reward being early entry into the Promised Land as the 2014 Division-2 champs touched down the first try of the match with a grounding by loosehead prop, Cole Wagenhals and it was 5-nil for PAC inside of 60 seconds in the match.
East replied with patient, methodic forwards rucking and mauling and first channel probes into PAC territory and flyhalf, Adam Leonard, broke apart a pair of tacklers in blasting to space just inside the PAC 10-meter line. Scant seconds later he was across for the dot with East outside center Jack Martin sure in conversion, East had taken the lead at 7-5 after nine minutes of action.
PAC back after the pill and deep into the Angels business district; East valiant in defense of goal right now, until the Front Rangers backrow lock, Grayson Lincoln, gathered ball from the breakdown two meters out, and crossed to ground his try that enabled PAC to retake advantage at 12-7 in the 18th minute.
Davis Price, PAC flyhalf, keeping Angels honest with long and lofty terry kicks, while response from East fullback Augie Bennett elusively energetic on the counter. Forwards matching up fairly well now as referee Brighton Khumalo whistled up the halftime signal and East were a handful in arrears at the break and PAC surprising everyone but themselves with the 12-7 midway lead.
Angels regained the advantage in the 37th minute when Leonard broke to space at the PAC 22, shifted the pill to openside Max Cohen, who made a handful of meters before shoveling to Martin for the outside center to cross and ground untouched for his own conversion: lead exchanged and 14-12 now for East.
Leonard again with the blast through a brace of faux tacklers and the fast finish for forty, and centerpost score, Martin with the added deuce, and Angels extension 21-12 after ten minutes of the second half.
A yellow card for an East player’s at conduct unbecoming and a prompt sticksplitter by Price from the left interior hash, 30 meters out, and the Angels lead cut to half dozen: 21-15 at 45.
But East, yet a man down, had the final shout as their #5 engine, Sam Golla, roared across for the final fiver-made seven by Martin and the record of 28-15 will have everyone seeing the cardinal at Glendale next Saturday.
Scoring
            Home – Try: Leonard (2), Martin, Golla; Con: Martin (4);
            Guest – Try: Wagenhals, Lincoln; Con: Price; Pen: Price

Match Official(s): Brighton Khumalo (Referee); Megan Clark, Brian Kelly (Referee Assistants)

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