Sunday, October 23, 2016

MCD-1A: University of Colorado v University of Wyoming

University of Colorado Buffalos v University of Wyoming Cowboys
With a bit of overcast on top of a blowy westwind, CU and Wyoming got after the pill at campus in Boulder on an unseasonably warm RugbyDay.  Two of the top squads in the USA Rugby men’s college division-1A bracket provided a grand display of sport adjudicated by one of the finest referee crews in the land: the trio of Derek Summers, Paul Knowles and Brian Zapp.
Zapp, Summers and Knowles - a class act!

Knock-on at kickoff reception by the travelers gave the home team initial advantage with scrum-put inside the Cowboys ten-meter line. Buffalos brash and bold with multiple phases of tightly orchestrated pick-and-goes from breakdown into the near channels, crabbing play across the pitch until penalty assessed by Summers afforded CU an opportunity for a shot at the sticks, 32 meters out on center. Not a worry for halfback, Evan Clark, and 3-nil homeboys in the 4th minute.

Miller looking forward
CU back into Wyoming territory after re-start utilizing speed and precision of forwards at tackle to maintain possession and forward momentum. Openside flanker, Jack Miller, shed tacklers spearheading a Buffalos foray into the visitor 22. Penalty award and two banging phases forward before Miller’s backrow mate, blindside Zachary Niro, shot through the defense to touch down: score 8-0 after 9 minutes.

Buffs benefiting from the great industry of their forwards at breakdown, turning ball over seemingly at will and keeping their opponents on the unstable rear leg early goings.

The host were threatening and had the feed at the set, 15 meters out from the Wyoming goaline approaching midpoint in the first forty. A big, bossy effort from the Cowboys pack won the tighthead and visitors flyhalf, Connor Rezzonico, cleared lines.  

A Wyo lineout at their own 10-meter line was batted back and ran to the Cowboys 22 before CU laid claim to the jouncer, enabling several phases forward before engine roomee Zachary Fellows crashed into goal for his try that, along with Clark’s conversion, extended the margin to 15 after 27 minutes of action.

Clark earned three more points on a sticksplitter from 25 meters out, 18-nil at ’31.
Cowboys got aboard on a penalty struck truly by second row Ryley McConn and it was 18-3 nearing time in the half.

But the Buffs would have the final shout as Clark’s sharp cycle to onrushing loosehead prop, Blake Rogers, had the #1 on a fast cutter to goal for a grounding that brought the tallies to 22 and 3 at Summers’ midway signal; lads for hydration and instruction just then.

University of Colorado with territory and possession advantage from its ability to obtain then maintain ball, while University of Wyoming often own-worst with unforced errors murdering promising movements.

Cowboys out of the second stanza blocks with fire and fury as second row, Cody Wichman, broke to space at his own 22 and raced for 50 in an arcing, elusive junket that brought play into CU’s red zone at the 22 and down into their business district, scant meters from goal. Buffs were pinged for grievous infraction resulting in a penalty try award: 22-10 after Wichman’s blinder at minute 46 and conversion by Rezzonico.

The home XV spent considerable time on either side of the hour mark asking questions of the Cowboys defense closeby goal, but Wyo’s containment proved sufficient to the task. Counters by Cowboys backline in the form of slashing returns of fullback Dominic Rufrun and powerful blasts by replacement center, William Tutien.

Wyoming saw success when outside center Harry Bourke backed himself, rounding a corner inside his own 10-meter line and turning on the nitrous, accelerating to space to finish 65 meters quickly and it became a closer encounter just then with a scoreline of 22-17 in the 69th minute with Rezzonico adding the deuce.

CU’s rapid response had flyer Liam Turner ground within the minute and 27-17 at ’70.
Wichman picked up his brace at the 75th minute with touch down in the corner, and though the remaining five minutes were action-packed, no further scores and a five-point victory at 27-22 for University of Colorado was recorded at Summers final whistle

                Colorado – Try: Niro, Fellows, Rogers, Turner; Con: Clark (2); Pen: Clark;
                Wyoming – Try: PT, Bourke (2); Con: Rezzonico (2); Pen: McConn

Match Officials: Derek Summers (Referee); Paul Knowles, Brian Zapp (RAs)

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