Sunday, November 1, 2015

MD-2: 10.31.15

Denver Harlequins v Boulder Rugby
Quins halfback, Adam Fisher, prepares to recycle

This perfect rugby day, with temps in the high 60s, sun and a bit of a western wind Denver Harlequins hosted Boulder Rugby at the Cooker in a spirited match that had a pair of lead changes in the final three minutes holding the substantial crowd along touch and under canvas awnings well-held in its lively sway. Boulder were coming off its first defeat, a 27-73 hiding on the road to Park City Haggis, while that same road had proven unproductive for Harlequins as they suffered 15-39 loss to Provo Steelers on the trot in Utah.  
It was rucking and rolling rugby for the first thirty as each XV sought victory in order to keep close the hinds of league leaders Haggis and Steelers; no scores, though each side spent time within the others’ 22s before unforced errors and penalties provided possession reversal and defender relief. Injury struck the sides in that opening half hour as the Boulder pivot, former Denver East and CU halfback Sean Kilfoyle, was forced off with concussion and the Denver backrow lock, Derek Mansanerez, was sidelined with shoulder damage.
Referee Cohort - Generation Rugby: Chris Hanson, Jim Russell (seated), Stu Geiger (standing), Joe Zevin
First drawn blood to the travelers when lock, Skylar Cook, gathered lineout ball ten meters from the host tryline and the Boulder forwards mauled two meters before 8man, Paul Rohr, rocketed down the weak side for a fiver and it was 5-nil the visitors in the 37th minute of action.
Denver responded at the final movement of the half with its three-quarterline banging into their guest business district to breakdown; tighthead Luke Porter picked and dove into the corner for his touch down and drawn scores, 5-for-the-house, at referee Stu Geiger’s halftime signal.
With an unsteady breeze blowing harder after re-start, Boulder regained the advantage on a sticksplitter by replacement standoff Colin Johnson from in front the uprights at the 22 meter line and it was 8-5 at minute 55.
Boulder in the Quins backyard for fifteen minutes and lively, if frenzied, action ensuing, but wind-assisted mishandles mid-line made for exchanges of the pill with unsettling frequency, and both sides intent on re-loading and recycling just then as the last ten minutes of the contest hove into view.
And it was Harlequins who profited in the 78th minute when fiery flyer Paul Bordenkircher stripped the pill in the tackle at midfield and made 40 meters fast, before offloading to backline mate Patrick Burmeister. Burmeister creased the defense for the dot that put Quins into their first advantage of the match at 10-8 with time flowing fast.
But it was to be Boulder with final joy. Hard, determined industry by its pack made for halfback Zach Hendricks scoot around the base of the breakdown  and his dive into goal for the decider converted by Johnson and a 15-10 record for Boulder at Geiger’s last blast.
            Denver – Try: Porter, Burmeister;
            Boulder – Try: Rohr, Hendricks; Con: Johnson; Pen: Johnson

Match Officials: Stu Geiger (referee); Chris Hanson, Joe Zevin (assistant referees); Jim Russell (referee coach)

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