Sunday, May 22, 2016

Rugby Colorado Championships: Finals

Rugby Colorado Championships: D2 recap, D1 match report

In the Division 2 title game, Central Terrors of Colorado Springs ran out to a 2-try, 12-nil advantage in the early innings before a pair of finely flowing backline movements allowed Monarch to knot the tallies with two dots, one converted, and everyone knew one dozen at the break. The Terrors scored an unconverted try by their flyhalf for the only numbers of the second period and claimed the Division 2 crown at the 17-12 result.

Every phase of play intensely contested in the Grand Final

Still a bit warm, but otherwise ideal conditions as referee Brian Zapp whistled up the kickoff and 2015’s Division 1 finalists engaged in the business of determining best in state. The last time these two XVs met it was league play in a spring snowstorm at Regis and the Jesuit owned the breakdown; not the case this evening as the Angels back three: Max Cohen, Sam Golla and Kilauea Tora were keen for contact and fluid with offload to put East on the front foot early.

Denver the business seeing swift passage of pill along the three-quarters line with flyhalf Sam Addix distributing to centers, Adam Leonard and Yanni Stavropoulos, and that pair smashing past the gainline to setup fast recycle. It was Leonard to space freeing flyer, Abdul Neville, who fended a tackle and scored in the corner; 5-nil Angels in the 5th minute.

Now Regis showing the form pattern in 8man pick-and-goes by Matt Peppercorn and gainline gets from standoff Ryan Maxfield. But it was three more for East after a sticksplitter from Addix in the 18th minute: 8-0 for Angels.

Regis got on the board with touch down by hooker Dylan Able after a won lineout and five phases of hard knocks on the door by crabbing, piston-like pick-and-goes within ten meters of the Angels goal; conversion by Lou “Sweet” Vera and 8-7 for Denver in the 21st minute.

The Jesuit went ahead after Denver were pinged at breakdown 15 meters from their goaline. Maxfield quickly-tapped and wove a jinky path to goal for his grounding converted by Vera and it was 14-8 for Regis in the 25th minute.

East responded after capitalizing on a penalty award eight meters out that the Angels quickly-tapped and swiftly slung along the backline for Leonard’s plunge into goal for a try, and it was 14-13 at Zapp’s halftime signal.

A pair of finely finished trys enough for the one-point midway advantage for Regis, but East with the majority of territory and possession in the first half hour of play.

Brilliant work by both sides in the second stanza and furious and determined action between the 22s, yet no further scoring until Addix split the sticks from 30 meters out to give East a 16-14 lead with only three minutes left on the clock.

A pair of Angels penalties late kept the ball in Raiders paws with time running fast and away. The second infringement at time enabled a Jesuit shot on goal for the state championship title. Vera wasted no time sizing and setting before addressing deliberately and driving the victory shot straight through the uprights for the 17-16 Regis record.

            East - Try: Neville, Leonard; Pen: Addix (2);
            Regis – Try: Able, Maxfield; Con: Vera (2); Pen: Vera

Match Officials: Brian Zapp (Referee); Tom Coburn, Stu Geiger (RAs); Jim Russell (Coach); Tim Luscombe (SS)

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