Sunday, October 16, 2016

MD-2: Boulder v Harlequins

Denver Harlequins v Boulder Rugby

Boulder began its league title defense in somewhat unsatisfactory manner with only a single win in their initial four outings, though they’d a draw to go along with two losses; Harlequins, a side loaded with talent - from their staunch and skilled number one, Chris Bailey, out to fiery and explosive Paul Bordenkircher on the wing, were yet in search of their first victory of the season. With temperatures pushing 80 degrees and warming, field magistrate Derek Summers whistled up kickoff and it was on at Cook Park then.

Probing kicks and pick-and-goes well-defended in the early goings by each until loosehead Bailey made a barge into the Boulder line into the 22 and offloaded perfectly to supportive second row, Ben 
Prentner, and that man closed quickly: 7-nil homeboys in the 13th minute after conversion by Quin fullback, Kyle Visagie.

Denver committed offense sufficient to earn a yellow card at ’17, and Boulder worked the one-man advantage well, alternating short darts from by backrow lock, Paul Rohr, lengthy skip-slings to outside backline dangermen, second center Odell Hyman, and flyer, Ralo Wheeler. Boulder were into the host 22 when penalty award enabled flyhalf Colin Johnson to strike cleanly a three-pointed sticksplitter and visitors were on the board, at 7-3, favoring Harlequins at minute 21.

Back at full strength, the home team brought it hard on the Boulder line with Bailey storming into the 22, battering his way to fall beneath a bevy of stoppers one meter from goal. Quins got to the breakdown with intent, but a frantic Boulder defense turned ball over and the travelers were able to clear their lines in the 30th minute.

Boulder regained the lead on a splendid individual effort by Hyman that saw him crash to space and round the defense to ground for an 8-7 scoreline with halftime looming.

Not before the homeside had the final shout of the first forty: Harlequins inside center Isaac Archibeque, on a cutter to goal, made it deep into the Boulder business district before offloading to flying finisher, Hector Cevilla, whose try and Visagie’s additional deuce, made tallies of 14 and 8 for Harlequins after 40.

Better transfer of the pill in close quarters and determination at breakdown made for significant go-forward pressure by the home team; wrong side of the Sir’s penalty count for Boulder and some lazy, loopy passes to no one in particular meant for exasperating endings of promising moves.

Lively opening to the second stanza with each side attempting to establish its pattern, yet the defenses along with damning unforced handling errors, served to maintain the scoreline.

Boulder with the concerted, multi-phase effort into the Quins 22. Swift recycle from scrumhalf Sean Kilfoyle and the defense was spread for replacement openside Eliot Kairys’ clean and rapid, 20-meter straight gallop to goal for the grounding that reversed the lead once more after the plus two by Johnson: 15-14 Boulder at ’56.

Quins were hard and fast into the Boulder 22 in the 64th minute being undone by a mishandle in traffic that reversed possession and enabling the visitors clearance.
Boulder extended their advantage on a try by Bryan Maroney and Johnson’s subsequent completion, and the visitors had a bit of breathing space at the 70th minute, 22-14. Boulder up by two scores just now.

Harlequins made it a one-point margin yet again on a blinder of an effort by openside Jason Burbach that finished a lengthy period of Denver attack inside Boulder’s 10-meter line; after conversion by Visagie: 22-21 with a handful of 60-second segments left.

It was Boulder with the counting response two minutes on when Hyman smashed to space and finished 40 meters powerfully for the bonus point and Johnson’s deuce made a result of 29-21 after Kilfoyle’s kick to touch from the wonscrum and Summers’ last blast.

                Denver Harlequins – Try: Prentner, Cevilla, Burbach; Con: Visagie (3);
                Boulder Rugby - Try: Hyman (2), Kairys, Maroney; Con: Johnson (3); Pen: Johnson
Match Official: Derek Summers

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